Notre Dame vs. Louisville Prediction, Game Preview

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish look to win their seventh straight game, while the Cardinals look to bounce back from their loss to Wake Forest.

    March 3, 2017

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish look to win their seventh straight game, while the Cardinals look to bounce back from their loss to Wake Forest.

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville Game Preview

    When: Saturday, March 4 – 2 p.m. ET
    Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY
    TV Broadcast: CBS

    Mike Brey’s No. 19 Fighting Irish (23-7, 12-5 ACC) are coming off of an 82-66 win over Boston College in South Bend on Wednesday night. Forward V.J. Beachem, playing his final home game, scored 22 points to lead the Irish to their sixth straight win. The Irish rallied back from a deficit against the Eagles for the second time this season, using a 15-0 run to take control of this one.

    Meanwhile, Rick Pitino and the No. 8 Cardinals (23-7, 11-6) are coming off of a road loss to Wake Forest, which bolstered its NCAA Tournament hopes with the victory. Star big man John Collins had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Demon Deacons, as they rallied from 14 down to claim an 88-81 win on Wednesday night. Deng Adel scored 22 points for the Cardinals in the setback.

    ND and The ‘Ville last met in South Bend in early January, and Steve Vasturia had himself a game for the Irish. Vasturia scored a career-high 24 points and hit a clutch fallaway one-hander in the lane with 19 seconds to play in a 77-70 win. While Louisville has the more impressive NCAA Tournament résumé, it is ND which has a chance at a share of the ACC regular-season title. With a win Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center and a Duke win over North Carolina later in the evening, the Irish and Tar Heels would finish at 13-5 in the nation’s toughest league.

    Notre Dame Wins If …

    … The Fighting Irish can hold the Cardinals to a low shooting percentage as they did in this season’s earlier win at Purcell Pavilion. Pitino’s squad was held to 39.1-percent shooting from the floor, but ND should not expect the Cardinals to shoot as poorly this time around. Louisville has proven to be a better shooting team at home this season, so…

    ND is going to need to be efficient and productive on offense in the rematch to keep up. The Cardinals have a very good defense, but the Irish had 42 points by halftime in the first meeting. Guard Matt Farrell had 22 points, while forward Bonzie Colson finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Balanced scoring will be needed in a tough road environment.

    Louisville Wins If …

    … The Cardinals get a bounce back game from Donovan Mitchell. The star guard and team’s leading scorer finished with just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting while battling foul issues in the loss to the Demon Deacons. Mitchell will be chomping at the bit to rebound from that effort. This is the same player who made six 3-pointers en route to 25 points in the team’s win over Syracuse last Sunday. Mitchell has been one of the best players in the ACC this season and had been particularly hot over his last three games, connecting on 25 of his 44 shots, coming into the Wake contest. That performance against the Demon Deacons was certainly an aberration.

    The Cardinals were off to a fast start against Wake but shot just 39 percent after halftime. The biggest issue, though, was defensively. The Demon Deacons have a very good offense, which the Cardinals struggled to slow down. Danny Manning’s squad shot 46 percent and made 10 of 24 3-pointers. The Cards need to be prepared for an ND offense that can be very dangerous when it’s rolling.

    Matchup To Watch

    Bonzie Colson vs. Louisville frontcourt

    The junior Colson has been a double-double machine all season long. In the first meeting, he had 18 and 14 going up against defenders who were several inches taller than him. Colson stands just 6-foot-5, but he is averaging 10.6 boards per game. He should get ACC player of the year votes, though can he put up similar production in the rematch against the Cards on the road? Jaylen Johnson, Mangok Mathiang, Anas Mahmoud and Co. will make life difficult for him.

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville Betting Odds

    Spread: Louisville -8
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville Prediction

    A double bye in the ACC Tournament is not yet secure for the Irish. Notre Dame can finish as high as second in the league and as low as fifth. If Notre Dame loses to Louisville, it will require North Carolina to beat Duke or Miami to beat FSU to earn the double bye. That may indeed be what Brey’s squad needs, because a valiant effort will come up a little short in a close road loss to the Cardinals.

    Notre Dame vs. Louisville final score prediction: Louisville 75, Notre Dame 69

    MORE: UNC vs. Duke Prediction, Game Preview


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