Ball State Cardinals men’s basketball: What Does Win Against Notre Dame Mean?
Not really sure if the Ball State Cardinals men’s basketball team is for real, but they really did beat Notre Dame. Still kind of shocked by it, only because the Cardinals were a 4-4 team going into the matchup. Yet, that doesn’t tell the whole story of Ball State, as they are better than what’s on paper.
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) isn’t a pushover. Still, I highly doubt any Irish fan thought this would result in a loss. It was essentially a buy game for Notre Dame. They paid the Ball State Cardinals to come to their gym and get knocked around. However, that’s not what ended up occurring.
Things should have been easier for the Irish. They’ve got one of the nation’s best players in Bonzie Colson and a great supporting cast around him. They took Ball State way too lightly. It’s a mistake that cost them big time. But it’s not like Ball State hasn’t been tested this season.
The Cardinals have played some pretty notable schools. With the likes of Dayton, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Bucknell on the schedule, it’s easy to see why this team had so much confidence going into this game. Yes, the did lose all four matchups to these teams, but the challenge of facing some top-tier competition and NCAA Tournament participants really helped Ball State win this matchup.
It’s hard to imagine how Ball State outrebounded Notre Dame but they did. Again, Colson is one of the nation’s best players. He alone can make an impact on the boards. Somehow the Cardinals managed 12 offensive rebounds to Notre Dame’s four. That’s going to make a big difference in how the game plays out and their season as a whole down the stretch.
Tayler Persons, who scored 24 points in the Ball State victory, was the star of the game. That’s the way it has been for the Cardinals this season. Judging by his 16 points, four assists, and three rebounds a night, he’s quite the player. Last night he was the main catalyst in the big upset. All this win will do is give him and his teammates something to build on.
MAC play is coming quickly. If this win against a nationally ranked school doesn’t help morale in the locker room, I don’t know what will. Ball State put the MAC and the country on notice last night. It’s time for them to make an NCAA Tournament.