The Notre Dame Fighting Irish may not have earned a top seed after their 26-6 regular season, but the fact that their first two games will be in Chicago is a nice trade off.
Ben Hansbrough scored 15 points despite another sub-par shooting game and Tim Abromaitis added 14 as second-seeded Notre Dame fought off scrappy Akron for a 69-56 second-round victory Friday in the Southwest Regional.
Notre Dame (27-6) will meet the winner of Florida State-Texas A&M on Sunday at the United Center.
The Irish led 34-30 at the half before scoring the first nine points of the second to build their lead to double digits and then held off the cold-shooting Zips.
Hansbrough, the Big East Player of the Year who shot just 3-for-16 in a loss to Louisville in the semifinals of the conference tourney, hit just 4-of-11 from the field but was 6-of-6 from the line and had six assists.
The 15th-seeded Zips (23-13) were appearing in just their third NCAA Division I tournament and second in two years.
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