Notre Dame vs. Virginia Prediction, Game Preview

    Notre Dame vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish will look to win their ninth out of their last 10 games when they host the Cavaliers.

    January 23, 2017

    Notre Dame vs. Virginia prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish will look to win their ninth out of their last 10 games when they host the Cavaliers.


    Notre Dame vs. Virginia Game Preview

    When: Tuesday, Jan. 24 – 8 p.m. ET
    Where: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame, IN
    TV Broadcast: ACC Network

    Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish (17-3, 6-1 ACC) are enjoying quite the standout season, and an ACC regular-season title is certainly in play for this steady and balanced squad. The Fighting Irish are coming off of a win over Syracuse, which had given the Irish problems over the last four seasons. Even in their losses this year, ND could (should?) have won each game. Brey is in his 17th season in South Bend, and pushes out about as consistent of a product as you will see across the entire nation.

    Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (15-3, 5-2) have a brutal week ahead. Tony Bennett and Co. face the Irish on Tuesday night and No. 1 Villanova on the road on Jan. 29. Their last time out, the Cavaliers put the clamps down on Georgia Tech 6-foot-10 center Ben Lammers, who averaged 14.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game before being held to a season-low seven points on 3-for-12 shooting. Virginia won its fourth in a row since dropping consecutive games against Florida State and Pittsburgh. That lock-down defense will be needed against the high-scoring Fighting Irish.

    Virginia is the only ACC team that Notre Dame has not defeated since joining the league. Brey said on Monday’s weekly ACC coaches teleconference that the Cavaliers’ defense has been really hard for his team to deal with and score against. Notre Dame’s average margin of defeat in the four games against Virginia has been 13.2 points, with their average largest deficit being 19.5 points.

    Notre Dame Wins If …

    … The Irish continue to play unselfish basketball, moving the ball successfully in their halfcourt offense behind point guard Matt Farrell, the junior guard who is averaging 5.7 assists per game while scoring 14.3 points per contest. He’ll be distributing against a nasty Virginia defense, though, so he’ll have the tough job of keeping the Irish offense fluid.

    Forward V.J. Beachem had a career-high 30 points in the win over the ‘Cuse, tying his career high with six 3s and finishing 12 of 22 from the field. If ND gets that sort of efficient play from the outside, the Cavaliers won’t be able to have any chance at a win in a tough road environment.

    Virginia Wins If …

    … The Cavaliers’ defense is on point, as it has been against the Irish in their ACC meetings. Notre Dame never has shot better than 49 percent from the field or better than 42 percent from 3-point range, averaging 56 points in the setbacks to the Cavs.

    The Cavaliers won’t be intimidated by the road environment, as they’ll simply play their slower-paced brand of offense and tough-as-nails brand of ‘D.’ Heck, senior point guard London Perrantes said on Saturday that he thinks his team actually plays a little better and with more energy on the road.

    Matchup To Watch

    Steve Vasturia vs. Marial Shayok

    On the ACC teleconference, Bennett said his staff “tried so hard” to recruit Vasturia to Charlottesville, and the senior guard’s strong play in ’16-17 has been evidence as to why he was sought by the Cavs. He will be an important aspect of this game because he’ll be tasked with the role of defending UVA’s Shayok. Brey said he always liked Shayok in high school, calling him a matchup nightmare. Shayok will be a handful for Vasturia. As a whole, Virginia’s four-guard look could pose problems for the entire ND defense when the Cavs go small.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Notre Dame -2
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Notre Dame vs. Virginia Prediction

    The Irish exorcised their Syracuse demons last week, just another step in the right direction for a team that could make another run at the Elite Eight. They will have just enough offense to beat the defensive-minded Cavaliers at home on Tuesday night.

    Notre Dame vs. Virginia final score prediction: Notre Dame 66, Virginia 62

    MORE: Isaac Haas Believes Game At Michigan St. Will Be Purdue’s Toughest

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