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Bob’s Monday Thoughts: Did Notre Dame’s VJ Beachem Turn A Corner? That & More!

College basketball and NFL playoffs are beginning to heat up. We also have the National Championship game. We have plenty to talk about in Monday Thoughts.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We had a busy sports week. College basketball is officially in full swing. NFL playoffs are underway. Its National Championship Monday. We have plenty to talk about, so without any further ado let’s dive right into Monday Thoughts.

Saturday’s win over Clemson was an important one.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 in the ACC on Saturday by taking down Clemson 75-70 at Purcell Pavilion. Yes every win is an important win, but with Notre Dame’s upcoming schedule Saturday’s win was huge.

Next up for the Irish is three game road trip to Miami, Virginia Tech and Florida State. It was important to get to 3-0 against Clemson because there is no guarantee amongst Miami, VT and FSU. Each team will be a tough out. Jim Larranaga has built a solid program at Miami. VT has already taken down Duke and FSU may be a quiet favorite to win the ACC.

If the Irish can at worst go 1-2 on this trip, they still would be in contention for the ACC crown thanks to this 3-0 start.

Was Saturday a turning point for V.J. Beachem’s season?

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Before Saturday the big question surrounding this Irish team was, “what happened to V.J. Beachem?” Prior to the season Beachem was expected to take on a more expanded role with the losses of Demetrius Jackson and Zach Auguste.

To start the year Beachem did just that as he averaged close to 18 points per game. Then around the Villanova game Beachem started to disappeared, and hit rock bottom against Louisville as he scored two points and attempted only three shots. In four games against Power 6 opponents starting with the ‘Nova game, Beachem averaged just 5.5 points.

Then the Clemson game happened. As the rest of the Notre Dame team tried to find their way offensively, Beachem came out smoking as he connect on four of his first five shots. He finished the game with a game high 22 points on 6-10 shooting. Hopefully this game will serve as a turning point for Beachem’s season. Notre Dame has already been a really good team without much production from Beachem. Add him to the mix and they’ll be really dangerous.

The NFL Wildcard games we’re all yawners.

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The first weekend of the NFL playoffs is in the books and quite frankly it was nothing to write home about. The average margin of victory of the four games was 21.5. The closest game was a 13 points win for the Texans over the Raiders, and that game was not as close as the score indicated.

Hopefully the divisional round will provide us with a few more exciting games. The games I’m looking most forward to are the Steelers vs. Chiefs and Cowboys vs. Packers.

Was Grayson Allen up to his old tricks again?

By now most of you have read or seen something about Grayson Allen’s antics. He’s become known more for his tripping rather than his actual play. In late December he was “suspended indefinitely” (AKA one game) for tripping an Elon player. It was Allen’s third incident tripping an opponent in the last year and Coach K finally had enough. Allen sat out a loss to Virginia Tech, but returned just one game later against Georgia Tech.

On Saturday against he got tangled up with a Boston College player and it appeared he stuck his leg out to trip the opponent. Here’s a video of the incident, what say you?

Now it’s all up for debate, but with a past like Allen’s it’s hard not to rush to judgement. Hopefully he can keep his legs under control when he faces the Irish.

Clemson or Alabama? Who ya got?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Head Coaches News Conference John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

I, for one, am really excited for the game tonight. These two are without a doubt the two best teams in nation, so this game should not disappoint. Alabama has been rolling over opponents all season long. Clemson has been playing its best ball down the stretch and many believe they are the only team who has a legitimate shot of beating Alabama.

It’s going to be one whale of a ball game, but I’m going with the Tide tonight, 37-32. It’s not that I don’t think Clemson can win, it’s more of that I can’t go against Saban. He’s yet to lose in this game, so I can’t pick against him until he actually shows he can fail. Who are you guys picking?

All right that’s it for this week’s edition of Monday thoughts. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Make sure to keep up with us here at OFD for basketball coverage, as well as for football and recruiting. Hope you all have a great week and Go Irish!