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No. 17 Notre Dame seeks first-round bye in Big East Tourney

Mar 3, 2007 - 3:33 PM No. 17 Notre Dame (22-6) at Rutgers (10-18) 4:00 pm EST

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- A victory in its regular-season finale would help give Notre Dame an extra day of rest next week.

The 17th-ranked Fighting Irish look for their fifth consecutive victory as they try to finish in fourth place in the Big East Conference standings with Saturday's battle against Rutgers.

Notre Dame (22-6, 10-5 Big East) is tied with Syracuse for fourth place in conference play. The Irish will clinch the No. 4 spot and a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament with a victory and a loss by the Orange to Villanova.

Notre Dame completed an 18-0 home record with last Saturday's 85-73 triumph over Marquette. Luke Harangody scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Tory Jackson added 21 for the Irish.

About the only thing Rutgers (10-18, 3-12) has to play for in its final game of the campaign is the quest to avoid finishing in last place in the Big East standings.

The Scarlet Knights have dropped six of their last seven outings and are tied with South Florida for 14th place, one game ahead of Cincinnati.

Rutgers is coming off last Saturday's 74-51 loss to Villanova. Marquis Webb scored 12 points and J.R. Inman had 14 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, who shot just 32 percent (18-of-57) from the floor.

Notre Dame has dropped eight of its last nine visits here since 1995-1996. The lone victory was an 81-59 triumph on February 14, 2001.

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    NOTRE DAME (17) 35 38 73
    RUTGERS 26 40 66 FINAL

    Mar 3 6:07 PM

    NOTRE DAME (17) 35

    Mar 3 4:51 PM