Yeah, not easy. "Ugly" is probably the better term.
You know how sometimes, a game can be close throughout, only as it comes down to the wire, you stop and think to yourself, "Wait a second, is it just me, or has this game been really, really ugly to watch?" A Big Ten Special, if you will. And if you had that thought during Notre Dame's victory Monday night, it wasn't just you. Pitt-Notre Dame featured just 48 possessions, making it the slowest major conference game of the year.
It was a conscious choice from Mike Brey and the Irish. Playing what they call the "Burn" offense, the goal was to milk each possession as long as possible. Basically, it's Four Corners 2010. And credit Notre Dame for hitting their shots, because the offense wouldn't have been successful if milking the clock had been the only goal. As Eamonn Brennan notes at ESPN, the Irish actually got better the longer they held the ball:
Per ESPN Stats & Information, Notre Dame was 2-of-5 from the field with more than 25 seconds left on the shot clock, 4-of-6 when there were between 11 and 25 seconds remaining, and 13-of-27 when there were 10 seconds or less left to shoot. That last mark includes a 10-for-15 performance in the second half.
In all, the Irish scored 37 of their 56 points with less than 11 seconds on the shot clock Monday night.
So kudos to the Irish for executing the strategy. But GOOD GOD that strategy is annoying. A win is a win is a win, yeah; but in case you want to purge after all the milquetoast, here's some highlights from the 1990 UNLV team (set to spectacular '80s music):