Notre Dame Fighting Irish (20-12) at Virginia Cavaliers (23-7)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 7:00 pm (Greensboro Coliseum)
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +3 -- Over/Under: 118 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Virginia Cavaliers meet in an ACC tournament quarter-final matchup from the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish booked their spot in the quarters after picking up an 80-58 win over Boston College in their last outing. John Mooney leads Notre Dame in scoring and rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 16.5 PPG and 12.8 RPG while TJ Gibbs has 13.2 PPG and Prentiss Hubb has 12 PPG and a team-high 4.9 APG this season. Dane Goodwin also has 10.7 PPG for the Irish this season. As a team, Notre Dame is averaging 74.1 points on 42.6% shooting from the field, 34.3% from 3-point range and 73.3% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 69 points on 41.6% shooting from the field and 33.8% from 3-point range this season.
The Virginia Cavaliers enter the ACC tournament as the #2 seed, finishing the year with a 15-5 mark in ACC play, winning out on a three-team tiebreaker with Louisville and Duke for the highest seed. Mamadi Diakite leads Virginia in scoring with 13.7 PPG while Kihei Clark has 10.8 PPG and a team-high 5.9 APG this season. Braxton Key also has 9.9 PPG and a team-high 7.4 RPG for the Cavaliers this season. As a team, Virginia is averaging 57 points on 41.3% shooting from the field, 30.4% from 3-point range and 71.7% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average just 52.4 points on 36.9% shooting from the field and 29.3% from 3-point range this season.
I had thought about Notre Dame and the points as the Irish really took it to BC in their tournament opener, and the lone meeting between these two this season was a one point Virginia win in OT. However, the Cavaliers have turned it on since then, as the defense has been suffocating as we've become accustomed to seeing from Tony Bennett's guys. Notre Dame can be a very dangerous team when the shots are falling like we saw against the Eagles, but all in all I think the Virginia defense rules the day and gets the job done with a win and cover here.