Going to bed on December 3rd, 2021 the outlook for this men’s basketball team was as gloomy as you could imagine. Missed the Tournament the last four seasons, 3-4 on the year, had just lost to Boston College in the conference opener, staring down a visit from #10 Kentucky, and possibly a rebuild starting at the end of the season. I was starting to think I was going to have to start watching hockey earlier again this year even though basketball season was just getting started. Since that day the Irish are 15-3 and the Eagles are 3-11 (9-14 on the year). Needless to say, a few things have changed.
Notre Dame and Boston College will face off tonight at 7 pm ET in Purcell Pavilion on ESPNU. The Irish are 9.5 point favorites at home and will have a chance to keep pace with Duke who was able to take care of business last night against Wake Forest. Tonight Notre Dame needs to go in and avenge the loss from December, then get mentally ready for a big one against Wake Forest on Saturday (Side note, starting tonight the Irish will stay on a Wednesday, Saturday schedule for the rest of their games until the ACC tournament). Of the final five games, Saturday will be their biggest test as they will be traveling out to Winston-Salem and it could have huge repercussions on ACC and NCAA tournament seeding for the Irish.
Coming into this game the Irish a riding a four-game win streak after their loss to Duke, and the Eagles are on a three-game slide after their win against Pitt. The Eagles come in allowing 66.5 points per game while only scoring an average of 64.9. I think the newly solidified defensive identity for the Irish will be huge tonight.
My only concern would normally be Notre Dame looking ahead to the game on Saturday and allowing BC to stick around just long enough to make this a game. I think having lost to this team already that’s not something the Irish will do tonight. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here but if Notre Dame can get a consistent offense and avoid scoring droughts I would pick them over A LOT of teams. Blake Wesley showed what can be done in the first 8 minutes against Clemson, but he was only able to score 3 points over the next 32 minutes. I know adjustments defensively for Clemson could have played a role in that but it is still a looming problem with this team.
I don’t want to be too much of a downer so I’ll wrap it up and give a score prediction. Go Irish and #Justkeepwinning.
Notre Dame 69, Boston College 57