PITTSBURGH -- Notre Dame was on its heels one more time in March, a team with designs on playing another weekend or two staring straight into the grim prospect of another early exit. The Irish held on, though, because they could hold on to the ball.
Zach Auguste scored 25 points and Jerian Grant added 17 as Notre Dame -- trying to improve upon its futile NCAA Tournament history -- dodged a scare with a 69-65 win over Northeastern Thursday.
The Fighting Irish (30-5) will play Butler tomorrow.
Northeastern (23-12) gave the Irish fits and threatened to keep their March malaise going.
"I told them in the locker room, we weren't going to beat them by 15," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "So don't anybody walk out of here feeling we should have won by 15."
The third-seeded Irish returned to the tournament after a one-year absence determined to build off their ACC Tournament title and make a Final Four run. Colonial Athletic Association champion Northeastern played with 40 minutes of grit. But the 14th-seeded Huskies finally collapsed with sloppy play in the final minutes.
Their last possession was the costliest one. Trailing by two, the Huskies chased down the loose ball after the Irish threw away an inbounds pass. Out of timeouts, Northeastern passed the ball five times. Quincy Ford coughed up the ball, ending the Huskies' last-gasp effort at pulling off the shocker.
The Huskies were left wondering if they could have won had they not burned their timeouts. "It would have helped if we would have had one more timeout," said Scott Eatherton (18 points). "I think we could have really got a play in. I'm not really sure what happened at the very end."
Butler 56, Texas 48: Kellen Dunham scored 20 points, including a pivotal three-pointer with 1:18 to play, to lift sixth-seeded Butler over 11th-seeded Texas. Jonathan Holmes led the Longhorns with 15 points, but Texas shot just 34 percent from the field and turned it over 15 times while failing to make it beyond the first weekend of the NCAAs for the seventh straight year. -- AP