The 10th time was apparently the charm for Ball State to beat the nation’s No. 9 team.
Tayler Persons drilled a three with two seconds left to lift the Cardinals to an 80-77 win over Notre Dame in the 10th overall meeting between the teams. The shot — which you can see in all its glory below — followed a dramatic three by Irish guard Matt Farrell, which tied the game at 77.
The Cardinals were not intimidated by the Irish, as they held a five-point lead at halftime. It would stretch to as much as nine points with 6:47 left after a personal 5-0 run by Persons, who finished with a team-high 24 points (10-for-19 FG).
Ball State hammered Notre Dame on the boards, outrebounding the Irish 40-26. Sean Sellers (11 points, 7 rebounds), Tahjai Teague (13 points, 8 rebounds) and Trey Moses (9 points, 7 rebounds) all played well in a balanced effort.
Per a program release, this was the highest-ranked opponent the Cardinals had played since a trip to No. 1 Indiana in Nov. 2012. And Ball State made it count in its first meeting with the Irish since 1976.
The win is the MAC’s non-conference highlight to this point, and may be a building block for Ball State. It pushed the Cardinals above .500 at 5-4, but all of the losses have come to teams ranked 112th or better per KenPom. They’re now riding a four-game winning streak and get another shot at a quality win with a home game against a surging Valparaiso team on Saturday.
And finally, there is the plight of @JohnOrander, who may or may not have created a binding legal agreement with the Twitter world.
If Ball State beats Notre Dame, I will Venmo every person that retweets this one whole dollar. pic.twitter.com/mpX9jMvfGN— John Orander (@JohnOrander) December 6, 2017
We applaud the confidence.