The Slaughter of Goblins
"They look like little goblins in green," Catherine said as Notre Dame had the ball.
"It fits," I replied after a laugh.
"Is that their name?"
"No. They're the Fighting Irish, and goblins fit in Irish mythology, so they can be the Little Green Goblins of Notre Dame."
The Cavaliers charged through Notre Dame like a party of level 10 adventurers through a horde of goblins in a D&D game with a bloodthirsty Dungeon Master. It wasn't quite the 25-3 symphony against Wake, it was more Roman than that. Brutal. Gory. Remorseless. It was 12-0 after six minutes, 23-7 after ten minutes, 35-17 after 16 minutes, 42-25 at the half, and 74-47 when Francesco Badocchi took off the warmups with four minutes of torment remaining for Notre Dame. At the end:
According to Notre Dame’s SID, that was the worst home loss for the Irish since 1999— Brandon Lloyd (@blloyd8298) January 26, 2019
The Cavaliers scored 80 points for the third time in six ACC wins, five of which have been by more than 20 points.* Five players scored in double figures for the second consecutive game, with Kihei Clark joining Hunter, Guy, Jerome and Diakite this time. Ty Jerome piloted the Virginia offense with 13 points, 6 assists, and no turnovers, and controlled the defensive boards with a game high 9 defensive rebounds. De'Andre Hunter was the scoring leader with 19 on every manner of two point shot, as he hit 9 of 13 two-pointers (missed both 3FGA). Kyle Guy was quietly superb with 15 on 6-8 shooting and 5 rebounds in a team-high 31 minutes. Mamadi Diakite again cranked the engine for the Hoos with six of UVA's first 8 points on his way to a 10-point, 7-rebound, 4-block performance that featured moments of sheer defensive dominance. Clark was 2-4 from the arc and slashed to the backboard for layups with the most confidence in his short collegiate career.
"They kinda took our spirit," Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey conceded to the press afterward. "We played discouraged - which a lot of people do against them."
Virginia doesn't blow the roof off with divine dunks like Duke or dash to the finish line like North Carolina; they simply chain you to the rack and crank the wheel every possession until all your limbs pop loose and the spirit flees. This year's team is 2013-14 after bombardment by gamma rays and bitten by the radioactive spider. They left South Bend behind them all like
The Cavaliers were hyper-efficient on offense, shooting 52% overall and 44% from three, and committing only two turnovers. They out-rebounded Notre Dame 45-33.
Oh yeah, and Hurricane Duke is blowing into town Monday.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph intercede with the Holy Father on the Fighting Irish behalf.
Mike Brey has a good freshman class but these are not freaks of nature who belong in the NBA; these are college freshmen. Nate Laszewski, Dane Goodwin, Robby Carmody (injured), Prentiss Hubb - these are all going to be good players in two years. Today they were college freshmen experiencing Virginia Basketball for the first time.
Monday they get to behold Zion. I don't think I can bear to watch that one.
Bennett's Legion marches on NC State next.
* Obligatory Florida State asterisk... The Hoos were up on Florida State by 29 when the walkons began coming in.
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