Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest Prediction, Game Preview

    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish will look to get back on the winning track with a victory over Danny Manning's Demon Deacons.

    February 6, 2017

    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest prediction and game preview. The Fighting Irish will look to get back on the winning track with a victory over Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons.


    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest Game Preview

    When: Tuesday, Feb. 7 – 7 p.m. ET
    Where: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, IN
    TV Broadcast: ESPNNews

    The Fighting Irish (17-7, 6-5 ACC) have a quick turnaround after their rescheduled game to North Carolina ended in an 83-76 defeat in Greensboro. Mike Brey’s squad played in the same venue in which it defeated UNC two years ago to win the ACC Tournament for its first basketball championship in any league. The Irish trailed by 15 points midway through the second half before climbing back to within 75-73, but the Tar Heels went on an 8-0 run to squash any hopes of a comeback. The loss to UNC was Notre Dame’s fourth in a row, so the Irish are desperate for a win.

    Meanwhile, Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons (14-9, 5-6) have won two in a row, with the latest coming at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in an 81-69 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday. John Collins scored 20 points, had 11 rebounds and added a career-high five blocks. It was his tenth double-double of the season. Collins became the first Wake Forest player to score 20 points or more in six consecutive ACC games since Skip Brown (10 straight) in 1974-75.

    The Irish swept last season’s series, with the latter of the two victories being a 69-58 win in Winston-Salem. Steve Vasturia had 16 points, while Collins also had 16 in his first start for the Demon Deacons.

    Notre Dame Wins If …

    … The Fighting Irish have a better night on the boards than they did against UNC. The Tar Heels are the best rebounding team in the country, so they dominated against the Irish’s smaller lineup. They had 40 points in the paint and a 44-25 advantage on the glass. Against Wake, the Irish will have to deal with Collins, who is averaging 9.3 rebounds per contest and has 10 games of double-digit boards.

    Senior Steve Vasturia also needs to find his shot again. During Notre Dame’s four-game losing streak, the 6-foot-6 guard has connected on just 10 of his 37 attempts from the floor. He is a defensive standout because of his length and strength, but the Irish need his offense as well.

    Wake Forest Wins If …

    … Collins has a standout game, similar to the efforts he has been putting up during his streak of 20 points or more. Since his rough six-point output in a loss to UNC, he has been exceptional. He will need to be at his best if the Deacons have any chance of an upset on the road.

    Additionally, young guards Bryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods must be efficient shooters in a game that has a chance to be high scoring. Crawford’s shooting percentage is up from last season, but he has been scuffling lately.

    Matchup To Watch

    Collins vs. Bonzie Colson

    The battle inside could be the difference in this one. Collins has been one of the best big men in the ACC in ’16-17, but he’ll be going up against Colson, who is averaging 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest. The ND big man is capable of such games as the one he had earlier in the year against Iowa, which allowed him to score 24 points and pull in 17 boards. Both teams need their guards to play well, but whichever team patrols the paint could tilt the outcome.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Notre Dame -7
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest Prediction

    This is a bad spot for Manning’s crew. The Irish are at home and desperate for a win. They will take their frustrations out on Wake, which is not quite ready to pull an upset of this caliber.

    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest final score prediction: Notre Dame 74, Wake Forest 65

    MORE: NCAA Men’s Basketball AP Top 25 Rankings – Week 14

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