Notre Dame will take on the Virginia Cavaliers today at 6:00 pm EST at Purcell Pavilion on the ACC Network. The Irish are going for a fourth straight win (third in conference) and are in the midst three game home stand. It will end Monday with Duke before going on the road to play Miami. Duke is in first and Miami is tied with the Irish for second in the ACC standings. This week is going to be a massive prove it week for the Irish and it all starts today for them.
Virginia is 12-8 (6-4) on the season and sit at seventh in the ACC standings. They average 62.6 points per game and hold heir opponents to 59.4. Needless to say they like to slug it out. In first half they on average only allow their opponents 29 points (30.4 in the second). Now Notre Dame’s offense is not elite by a long stretch. Only able to muster 70.7 ppg with the defense fairing a little better allowing 66.7 ppg. That’s where I think the key is for today.
I believe if Notre Dame can come out and put pressure on Virginia defensively, the Cavaliers don’t have the ability to keep up with the Irish on the offensive side of the the court. As long as Notre Dame can get and keep their offense going (similar to the second half of the Louisville game last weekend) I believe they will have full control of this game. They cannot be caught looking ahead to Duke though. If they come out flat and stay flat which they have a tendency to do at times, this could look something like the Howard game. I do not believe this will be the case. I think Virginia will make Notre Dame look anemic offensively for the first half or so before Notre Dame pulls away.
Notre Dame: 70 Virginia: 60