They've been in 33 NCAA's, gone to the final four once. They've been in 11 NIT's, gone to 4 NIT final games, lost all 4. They were an independent, non-conference team until 1995, which meant no postseason conference tourneys. Since then they've completed 18 Big East tourneys and one ACC tournament without a championship. Tonight, in their 2nd ACC tournament, they're going to play for the championship against North Carolina. ND is the #3 seed and North Carolina is #5, but they're going to play in Greensboro, less than an hour's drive from North Carolina's campus in Interstate 40, giving Carolina a pretty heavy home-court advantage.
It should be a good game.
Why aren't more people talking about how this could be Notre Dame's first ever men's basketball postseason tourney championship? Maybe Notre Dame fans (I'm one) see this more sharply than most others, because, c'mon: the Fighting Irish have 11 national championships in football, 4 in co-ed fencing, 3 in men's fencing, 3 in women's soccer, 2 in men's tennis, and 1 each in women's fencing, men's cross country, men's golf, men's soccer and women's basketball. If you're a Notre Dame team, you're kinda supposed to win a national championship at least every now and then. I'm sure it's rarely said to their faces in exactly those terms, but the men's basketball team and the baseball (one final 4) and hockey (2 final fours) teams have all got to feel that expectation at least now and then. Notre Dame's athletic department is simply not like sports at other schools.
Notre Dame even has 2 men's basketball championships from before the time that there was a post-season basketball tourney. They were the champs because they were rated #1 by the sportswriters at the end of the season.
That's not quite the same as winning a tourney, though.