Notre Dame rallies to beat Michigan 70-63 in NCAA opener

NEW YORK — V.J. Beacham scored 18 points, including the 3-pointer that gave Notre Dame the lead for good, and the sixth-seeded Fighting Irish rallied to beat 11th-seeded Michigan 70-63 on Friday night in the first round of the East Regional.

The Fighting Irish (22-11) didn’t take a lead in the game until Beacham’s 3 with 9:26 left to make it 51-48. From there on there were five lead changes and three ties.

Notre Dame will face 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin in the second round on Sunday. The Lumberjacks upset third-seeded West Virginia 70-56.

Michigan (23-13) controlled the first half, taking a 41-29 lead. Notre Dame scored the first eight points of the second half, a run that included 3-pointers by Vasturia and Matt Farrell, matching the team’s total of the first half. It brought the Fighting Irish within 41-37.

Beacham’s 3 with 4:24 left gave Notre Dame a 62-59 lead, one they never gave up.

Michigan beat Tulsa 67-62 on Wednesday in the First Four. Wichita State, the other 11th seed to win a First Four game, advanced to the second round with a victory over Arizona.

Bonzie Colson had 12 points for Notre Dame but the final minutes were where he shined. He had a big blocked shot with just under 2 minutes to play and he converted a rebound for a 66-61 lead with 1:35 to go. He then iced the game with two free throws that made it 68-63 with 11 seconds left.

Zach Auguste had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Irish, who finished with a 33-25 advantage on the boards.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkam had 15 points for Michigan and Derrick Walton Jr. had 10 points and eight assists.

Notre Dame, which led the nation in turnovers for a while this season, finished with 16 turnovers, almost double their regular season average of 9.7, and the Wolverines turned them into 19 points.

TIP-INS:

Michigan: The Wolverines won the previous to NCAA Tournament meetings with Notre Dame in 1974 and 1976. … Michigan entered the game having won eight of its last 10 NCAA Tournament games.

Notre Dame: Auguste averaged 15.7 points and 11.9 rebounds over the last 12 games. … Notre Dame had eight blocked shots.

UP NEXT:

Notre Dame: Stephen F. Austin on Sunday in the second round.

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