Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-10) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (19-13)
March 18, 2022 4:15 pm EDT
The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -4 / Notre Dame Fighting Irish +4; Over/Under: 152
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Notre Dame Fighting Irish square off at Viejas Arena this Friday afternoon in the first round of the college basketball NCAA Tournament.
The 11-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish improved to 23-10 on the season after defeating the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 89-87 (2OT), last night. Notre Dame was able to force double-OT after Blake Wesley made a game-tying layup with just :04 seconds left in OT and was able to pull of the dramatic victory after Paul Atkinson Jr. hit a game-winning putback with just :02 seconds left in double-OT. Notre Dame shot 51.4% from the field & 31.6% from beyond the arc while allowing Rutgers to shoot 50.7% from the field & 40.7% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Fighting Irish was Paul Atkinson Jr. who had 26 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, & 2 blocks.
On the season, coming into their game against Rutgers, Notre Dame was averaging 72.5 ppg on 46.2% shooting from the field. The Fighting Irish were averaging 9.2 three-pointers per game on 38.0% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Notre Dame have been led by Blake Wesley (14.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg), Dane Goodwin (13.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 apg), Paul Atkinson Jr. (12.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 apg), & Prentiss Hubb (9.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.0 apg).
Defensively, prior to their game against Rutgers, Notre Dame was allowing their opponents to average 66.8 ppg on 43.1% shooting from the field. The Fighting Irish had a rebound margin of 0.8 and a turnover margin of -0.4.
The 6-seed Alabama Crimson Tide finished their regular season with an overall record of 19-13 while finishing SEC play with a 9-9 record. Alabama earned a 6-seed in the SEC Championship however, the Crimson Tide could not a run in the tournament after being upset by the 11-seed Vanderbilt Commodores, 82-76, in the 2nd round. Alabama went 10-3 in their non-conference schedule and picked up impressive wins this season over Gonzaga, Houston, Tennessee, Baylor, & Arkansas.
On the season, Alabama is averaging 80.0 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Crimson Tide are averaging 9.3 three-pointers per game on 30.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Alabama has been led by Jaden Shackelford (16.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), Jahvon Quinerly (14.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.3 apg), Keon Ellis (12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.9 spg), & JD Davison (8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.2 apg).
Defensively, Alabama is allowing their opponents to an average of 76.4 ppg on 43.5% shooting from the field. The Crimson Tide have a rebound margin of 3.8 and a turnover margin of -1.5.
The Fighting Irish are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog & 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games overall. The Crimson Tide are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall & 1-6 ATS in their last 7 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
Notre Dame has been solid on both ends of the court this season as the Fighting Irish come into this game ranked 142nd in scoring offense, 62nd in FG%, & 105th in scoring defense. Alabama has been led by their offense which ranks 10th in scoring offense & 27th in three-pointers made per game, however, the Crimson Tide have really struggled defensively as they come into this matchup ranked just 318th in scoring defense & 193rd in defensive FG%.
Alabama has picked up plenty of quality wins this season, however, this is a team that has been incredibly inconsistent and has really struggled defensively. Notre Dame has an offense that should be able to put up points against the Crimson Tide defense and as I think the Fighting Irish keeps this one competitive, I’m taking Notre Dame to cover with the points. Good Luck!