The No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish opened their final Big East tournament with a 69-61 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Wednesday, a game in which Notre Dame never ran away with, but never seemed in danger of losing.
Pat Connaughton finished with 21 points and three rebounds for the Fighting Irish, the No. 6 seed in the league tournament, who will move on to play the No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Rutgers pulled the game as close as 62-56 with less than two minutes to go, but the Scarlet Knights couldn't do anything after that. Notre Dame was perfect in four free-throw attempts, and a Jerian Grant breakaway dunk for Notre Dame sealed the win.
Tom Knight finished with 18 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame.
Rutgers finished its season 15-16. Austin Johnson and Myles Mack each finished with 18 points for the Scarlet Knights.