NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 preview: No. 6 Notre Dame vs No. 7 Wisconsin

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Starting lineups, story lines and everything else you need to know about Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin.

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 preview: No. 6 Notre Dame vs No. 7 Wisconsin

Starting lineups, story lines and everything else you need to know about Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin.

The East Region's No. 6 seed, Notre Dame, will take on No. 7 seed Wisconsin on Friday in a Sweet 16 matchup at 7:27 p.m. ET (TBS). Although the Fighting Irish and Badgers have met 28 times, they've only met once since 1968, and have never met in NCAA Tournament play.

Here is a look at each team as they prepare to battle for a spot in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

MORE: Greatest comebacks in college basketball history | SN's interactive bracket

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-11)

No. 6 seed, East Region

Coach: Mike Brey (16th season)

Bid: At-large, ACC

Starting lineup

G Demetrius Jackson (15.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.7 rpg)

G Steve Vasturia (11.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg)

G Matt Farrell (2.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg)

F V.J. Beachem Jr. (11.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

F Zach Auguste (14.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg)

Story lines

— The ACC broke impressive ground this season, as six conference members — Notre Dame, Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia — advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in NCAA Tournament history.

— Notre Dame, which holds five NCAA Tournament victories in the past two years, has never won six NCAA tournament games over a two-year span. The Fighting Irish have qualified for 11 of the past 16 NCAA tourneys after an 11-year drought before coach Mike Brey took over.

— Fighting Irish big man Zach Auguste is averaging a double-double this season, and has moved up the all-time Notre Dame rebound list as well. He reached the 800-rebound mark  — becoming the 13th Notre Dame player to accomplish the feat —in the team's second-round win against Stephen F. Austin.

— After scoring just four points in Notre Dame’s four NCAA matchups last season, V.J. Beachem has stepped up his game and averaged 16.5 points per contest in the Fighting Irish's last two NCAA victories.

Wisconsin Badgers (22-12) 

No. 7 seed, East Region

Coach: Greg Gard (first season)

Bid: At-large, Big Ten

Starting lineup

G Bronson Koenig (13.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg)

G Zak Showalter (7.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

F Nigel Hayes (5.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg)

F Vitto Brown (9.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

F Ethan Happ (12.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg)

Story lines

— The Badgers, who reached the Final Four in 2014 and the championship game against Duke in 2015, will look to earn their 12th NCAA Tournament victory in three years.

— Badgers coach Greg Gard will look to continue the school's success after replacing coach Bo Ryan following his retirement announcement. Gard secured Wisconsin's fifth trip to the Sweet 16 in six years this season.

— Notre Dame will have to be mindful of star shooters Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, who sank the game-winning shot to upset No. 2 seed Xavier in the second round. Hayes has struggled in Wisconsin's last three games, shooting just 7 of 42 from the floor. The Badgers have gotten a lift from freshman Ethan Happ, who has averaged nearly 17 points during Hayes' slump.

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