Notre Dame 32, Pittsburgh 29 at the break

NEW YORK -- After the frenetic pace of the first two games in the Big East quarterfinal earlier today, watching slow-down Notre Dame against contentedly gritty Pitt is like watching a game in slow motion. Doesn't mean it's a bad game, just different.

A few quick thoughts at the break:

  • Pitt was the first team to experience the newfound Irish and suffered a 15-point loss in the process. Ready for what's coming this time, Pitt is handling it a lot better. The Irish are shooting the ball very well -- 62 percent -- but the Panthers don't mind playing in the halfcourt and aren't bothered by playing a lot of defense. The Panthers, however, do like to get out on the break when they can and would gain an advantage if they could do that in the second half.

  • Luke Harangody doesn't look at all bothered by games on back-to-back nights. The senior once again has given the Irish an off-the-bench spark with seven points.

  • The difference right now is at the arc. Notre Dame is a much better shooting team and it's showing. The Irish are 5-of-10 from the arc compared to 2-0f-7 for the Panthers.