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Niele Ivey speaks day before Notre Dame opens NCAA Tournament

Niele Ivey is living her best life right now. Not only is she coaching Notre Dame’s women’s basketball program, the same one she’s won national championships with as both a player and assistant coach, but she’s excelling at it. She’s proven to be a worthy successor to the legendary Muffet McGraw, whom she gave praise to live on the ACC Network right after the Irish won the ACC Tournament. That victory gave the Irish a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a first-round date with Kent State.

Ivey didn’t repeat as ACC Coach of the Year, but she easily could have. With so many injuries, the Irish had no business coming into the tournament on an eight-game winning streak and getting the seed they did. It happened though, and the reward is her team getting to play in front of its home fans. The first of those games at least is sold out, and the second game surely will be, too, assuming there is one. It probably is a safe bet given all the momentum the Irish have right now.

Ivey met with the media the day before the Irish began their third straight tournament run. Here is some of what she had to say:

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire