BLACKSBURG, Va. – It’s been a journey for the Notre Dame men’s basketball program during the 2023-24 ACC season. After incurring a seven-game skid, the Irish regrouped, came together and fired off a 5-1 stretch, which included wins against Wake Forest and Clemson. Adversity struck once more with a setback at the measuring stick that is No. 7 North Carolina. However, Notre Dame plans on making the most of its opportunity of what’s left. That starts with the regular-season finale at Virginia Tech on Saturday, March 9, at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

What’s at stake: Win or lose: Notre Dame is pretty much locked into the No. 12-13 seed matchup for the ACC Tournament unless Louisville upsets Boston College on Saturday. Then an Irish victory on Saturday would push them into the No. 11 seed.

The all-time series with Virginia Tech is now tied at 10-10 after Notre Dame took down the Hokies, 74-66, earlier this season. It marked the turning point of their season. Markus Burton balled out with this impressive stat line: 16 points, 8 assists and 6 steals. Only two other Irish in the history of the program had produced at least a 16/8/6 game: Chris Thomas and Jerian Grant.


From Feb. 1 to March 1, Notre Dame was the biggest mover in Kenpom AdjEM across the Power-Five conferences. In addition, when the first NET rankings came on Dec. 4, the Irish were 238. As of March 7, the Irish are up to 130.

Notre Dame has been playing its best basketball of the season and that includes freshman sensation Markus Burton. During Notre Dame’s 5-2 surge, Burton is averaging 19.9 ppg. He’s followed by Braeden Shrewsberry’s 12.0 ppg and Tae Davis’ 10.9. Burton has also recorded 35 assists, 22 steals and 25 rebounds during this seven-game swing.

During this stretch, Notre Dame’s offense is averaging 68.4 ppg compared to its season average of 63.1. Another big difference is the fact that the Irish are taking better care of the basketball, averaging just 9.0 turnovers compared to the season’s 12.6.


Freshman guard Markus Burton is grabbing the attention of Irish fans, ACC opponents and the national media, but what’s crazy about it all is that he’s doing something that has never been done before in the history of the program.

Burton is currently averaging over 17.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals. If that stat line holds up upon season’s end, he’ll be the first player to put up those numbers in Notre Dame history (aka at least 17 points, 4 assists and 2 steals). ND great Chris Thomas would be the closest one to that with his 15.6 points, 7.6 assists and 2.2 steals for the 2001-02 season.

Burton is the only rookie in the country and just 1-of-2 Power-Five players overall (other being Syracuse’s Judah Mintz) averaging at least 17p-4a-2s. Burton and Mitz are just 2 of 4 total ACC players to produce that stat line since 1996 (Duke’s Jason Williams & Maryland’s Steve Francis).


Notre Dame has never taken home an ACC Rookie of the Year award and Markus Burton is looking to change that. He has proven himself to be one of the most dynamic freshman guards not just in the ACC, but in the entire country. Here are some quick hitters for those who haven’t been paying attention and why your vote should be for Burton:

His 17.0 ppg leads all ACC freshmen, with the next highest being Duke’s Jared McCain at 13.4. He also ranks 4th nationally amongst DI freshmen.

ACC freshman rankings: 1st in scoring, 2nd in assists/game (4.3), 1st in steals/game (2.0).

Double-digit points in all but 3 games. 8 games with 20+ points.

ACC play-only rankings: 17.1 points (7th), 2.3 steals (1st), 4.8 assists (3rd), .811 FT% (11th).

Overall rankings: 8th in the ACC in scoring, 5th in Assists (4.3), 4th in Steals (2.0), 11th in FT% (.811).

Only rookie in the country and 1-of-2 P5 players averaging at least 17 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Produced two games with 15+ point, 5+ assists, 5+ steals. Since 1996, only one other Irish player (Chris Thomas) had produced two games in the same regular season with at least 15 points, 5 assists and 5 steals.

Averaging 8.6 points in the 2nd half – has scored double-digit points 12 times in the 2nd half alone this season, including a season high of 20.

Averaging 18.1 points at home, shooting 44.5 percent from the field.

60 steals (tied for 6th most in a ND season)

2.0 spg — would become just the 4th player in program history to average 2 spg in a season (Chris Thomas, David Rivers, Jerian Grant).

Totaled 80 points over a three-game swing Feb. 24-March 2 (Syracuse, Wake, Clemson). Burton and Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard are the only 2 freshmen in the country to record at least 80 points in a three-game swing this season.

Career high 31 points, which included 19 in the first half, against Wake Forest on Feb. 27. Burton became 1-of-4 ND freshman all-time to record a 30-point game, joining the likes of Troy Murphy, Chris Thomas and Adrian Dantley.

Four-time ACC Rookie of the Week – set a new ND record.


The year one Coach Shrewsberry stamp on the program has been the defensive intensity. 19 ACC games and 14 different ACC opponents – all but two (UNC on March 5 & Syracuse on Feb. 24) were held under their season average, with Miami, Duke and Louisville each held to season-low point totals. Of the 19 ACC matchups that have already happened, only 5 opponents have reached the 70-point park against the Irish defense.

Notre Dame’s scoring defense of 66.1 ranks 32nd in the country, plus 2nd in the ACC. According to KenPom, Notre Dame’s defensive efficiency ranks 26th nationally.

In ACC play only, Notre Dame ranks 2nd in scoring defense (65.5) and 2nd in field goal percentage defense (.415).


We are officially on Burton freshman scoring record watch as we head into the final game of the regular season. The freshman guard boasts 511 points on the season – which already puts him in the No. 3 spot and striking distance of No. 1 Troy Murphy and his 519 points.

From a scoring average perspective, Burton’s 17.0 ppg ranks 3rd all-time behind Troy Murphy (19.2) and Adrian Dantley (18.3).


Markus Burton won’t be the only freshman leaving his name in the ND record book this season after Braeden Shrewsberry continues to light it up from three.

Shrewsberry has knocked down 55 three-pointers in ACC play, breaking the Notre Dame ACC record. The previous record was 51 held by Prentiss Hubb, Matt Farrell and V.J. Beachem.

FYI – those 55 threes in ACC play are the fourth most this season and sit 10 behind Pitt’s Blake Hinson (65) for the most.

Shrews’ 72 made threes on the year are the 3rd most by a freshman in the entire country. Same goes for his 2.4 made threes/game.

As far as individual games – Shrewsberry tied the program record for made three-pointers by a freshman after draining seven against the Louisville Cardinals. He tied the likes of Pat Connaughton, Chris Thomas and Ryan Hoover. Shrews’ 23 points marked his second-highest points total on the season.

Lastly, Shrewsberry is shooting 42.0 percent from deep in ACC play – that number ranks 5th amongst ACC players and would rank 7th all-time in Notre Dame ACC program history.

His 2.9 made threes/game in league play ranks 4th.


Two young freshman guards in Burton and Shrewsberry have proven they aren’t afraid of a hostile environment. In true road games, Burton and Shrewsberry are averaging 15.5 points and 13.0 points, respectively.

Road games in February for Burton – 28 points at Syracuse, 16 points at Louisville, 17 points at Pitt, 19 points at Duke.

For Shrewsberry, we’ve already mentioned his 18 points in the 2nd half at Syracuse and his 23-point showing at Louisville with seven made threes. Both of those were outdone by his season high 25-point effort in the OT win at Georgia Tech. He’s averaging 3.2 made threes/game in road games.


Here are some other under-the-radar stats to keep an eye out for:

Tae Davis has recorded four straight double-digit scoring performances. He’s averaging 13.0 points on 52.8 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds as well. Recently, Davis came up huge against Clemson with an 18-point second half performance in the win.

In addition, Davis has made 31 of his last 37 from the free-throw line, raising his percentage from .618 to its current .707.

During ND’s 5-2 stretch, Braeden Shrewsberry has averaged 12.0 points, shooting 42.6 percent from three, plus 3.3 threes/game.

Next, Booth has made 9 of his 29 made threes on the season during ND’s 5-2 swing, so nearly one-third.

Team-wise, Notre Dame is 6-0 this year when limiting their turnover total to single digits.  They have produced single-digit turnovers five times over the last seven games.


Speaking of trending, Markus Burton has ratcheted up his defensive intensity down the final stretch. The starting point guard is now up to 60 steals (tied for 6th most in a single season at ND). Christ Thomas holds the record at 72.

He’s averaging 2.0 spg. If that holds, he would become just the 4th player in program history to average 2.0 spg in a season (Chris Thomas, David Rivers, Jerian Grant).

His 2.0 steals per game ranks 4th in the ACC. Furthermore, his 2.3 steals/game in league play leads all ACC players.