Notre Dame continues surprising rise

Updated: February 8, 2012, 2:06 PM ET
By Joe Lunardi

Let's get our Irish up, as in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. No team in America has enjoyed a greater transformation between the nonconference portion of the season and league play. And no team has seen itself rise up the Seed Curve quite like Notre Dame.

In less than a month, the Fighting Irish have gone from an NCAA whisper (Nonconference RPI 165, Nonconference SOS 209) to a full-throated shout. At 7-3 in the Big East, Notre Dame is approaching near-lock status for Selection Sunday. Its conference-only RPI is No. 7 in the country, which may be a comment on the Big East, but it is primarily a statement for Mike Brey as conference -- and maybe national -- coach of the year.