The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (24-8, 12-6 ACC) finally got over the hump last night, as they took down the Virginia Cavaliers 71-58 in the ACC Quarterfinals. With the win the Irish snapped a 10 game losing streak against the Cavs.
The Irish now quickly turn their attention to the Florida State Seminoles (25-7, 12-6 ACC). The ‘Noles took down Virginia Tech in their quarterfinal matchup, 74-68. Sophomore Dwayne Bacon and freshman Jonathan Isaac combined for 28 points and 19 rebounds.
The Irish and ‘Noles met twice in the regular and split both meetings. Florida State won in Tallahassee 83-80 back on January 14th, and Notre Dame came away victorious 84-72 in the return meeting to South Bend.
- Florida State leads the all-time series 4-2
- The two teams split both regular season meetings.
- Florida State and Notre Dame have met each other once in postseason play. Florida State took down the Irish 71-57 in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament
- Bonzie Colson has averaged 21 points and 10.5 rebounds vs. FSU this season, including a 33/13 performance back on February 11th in South Bend
- For the third consecutive season Notre Dame has advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament
- Notre Dame is now 6-1 all-time in the Barclays Center, including a 3-0 mark this season
- Matt Farrell is averaging 17.3 PPG and 5.3 APG at the Barclays Center this season
- VegasInsider.com has Florida State as the favorite at -1.5
We have seen this before in practice many times.— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 10, 2017
Happy everyone else got to see it in a big time moment.
Rex goes reverse: pic.twitter.com/7xm7R1QSGG
When: Friday, March 10th, 2017, 9:00pm ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
How to Watch: ESPN or WatchESPN
No. 10 Florida State 83 - No. 15 Notre Dame 80
January 18, 2017 - Tallahassee, FL
In the first meeting this season the ‘Noles and Irish played an exciting up and down game. Notre Dame was lights out from three as they were 15-21 from distance, but it wasn’t enough to stop Jonathan Isaac. The fantastic freshman poured in 23 points on 7-9 from the floor, and also 11 rebounds. Notre Dame nearly made a comeback in the game’s final minutes, but they ran out of time and gas. Steve Vasturia led the way with 18 points for the Irish.
Notre Dame 84 - No. 14 Florida State 72
February 11, 2017 - Notre Dame, IN
This one was not as close as the score indicated. The Irish led by as many as 19 late in the second half, but a series of turnovers let Florida State creep a little closer towards the end. Junior forward Bonzie Colson had arguably the best game of his career as he went for 33 points, 13 rebounds and was 12-18 from the field. He completely dominated Florida State’s mammoth front line. The Irish out-rebounded the ‘Noles by seven (41-34), which was a far cry from the first matchup.
Seminole to Watch
Jonathan Isaac - 6’10”, Forward, Freshman
As mentioned, Isaac had a huge game in the initial matchup between these two programs, but in the return game he only had four points on 2-6 from the field and six rebounds. There is a strong correlation between Isaac’s play and FSU’s losses this season. In three of their five losses, Isaac was held under 10 points. If the Irish can keep Isaac in check, you should like their chances Friday night.
Keys to Victory
- Defend: UVA is not the most offensively gifted team, but it was very encouraging to see the way Notre Dame defended on Thursday night. They out-defended the nation’s best defensive team, as they held the Cavs to 36% shooting and 0.96 points per possession. The Irish need to bring that defensive intensity against one of the best offensive teams in Florida State.
- Beachem and Vasturia: This was one of my keys yesterday, but its something Notre Dame can’t afford to be without these two guys. Far too many times this season Beachem and Vasturia have gone M.I.A., and it almost happened last night with Vasturia. We know Colson and Farrell are going to show up. The Irish need their two seniors to show up and perform.
- Hit Outside Shots: If shots aren’t falling, the Irish aren’t winning. That being said, they shot lights out against Florida State in the first matchup and lost, but they also didn’t defend in that one either. Vasturia has been ice cold from the outside lately, look for him to get going in this one.
- Win the Rebounding War: This may seem like daunting task against Florida State’s size and length, but the Irish have already shown they can out-rebound the ‘Noles. If they win the rebounding matchup, or keep the margin within 1-2, the Irish should be playing on Saturday night.
Pick to Click
Matt Farrell - 6’1”, Guard, Junior
Farrell is my pick to click for the rest of the season.— Bobby Norell (@RENorell_III) February 12, 2017
You guys know the drill here. I pick Farrell, good things tend to happen. Also, Farrell was fantastic in the last game vs. Florida State. He had 15 points and nine assists.
Notre Dame 82 - Florida State 75
Florida State had a tough time with Virginia Tech last night. The Hokies just didn’t have the firepower, but still played a pretty tough game and ultimately ran out of gas. The ‘Noles are also just a very different team away from Tallahassee.
Notre Dame on the other hand, plays very well in Barclays Center. They looked very comfortable last night and played pretty free and easy against the nation’s best defensive team. Expect more of that on Friday night. There is just something about Mike Brey in March (imagine saying that five years ago).
Oh...and one more thing WEAR THE GOLD JERSEYS.