UIC Flames (20-16) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-15)
|Date & Time||Tuesday November 6, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -14.5 -- Over/Under: 148
|TV Channel||Stream College Basketball all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
The UIC Flames and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish square off in college basketball action from Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday night.
The UIC Flames will look to build on a successful 2017-18 campaign that saw the Flames finish with a 20-16 overall record, including a 12-6 mark in Horizon League play to finish in 3rd place in the conference tournament. However, the Flames’ tournament stay was short-lived as they were bounced in the first round by Milwaukee. The Flames received an invite to the CollegeInsider.com tournament where the Flames took down Saint Francis, Austin Peay and Liberty before being defeated in the championship game by Northern Colorado. The challenge for UIC is moving forward without two of their top four scorers from last season, as Dikembe Dixson went pro and Tai Odiase graduated. However, the Flames bring back Marcus Ottey (13.8 PPG) and Tarkus Ferguson (10.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 5.0 APG) as part of their core unit for this year’s team. As a team, UIC averaged 75.2 points per game on 45% shooting from the field, 34.7% from behind the arc and 73.4% from the foul line last season.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will look to improve on what many would consider a frustrating season in Irish nation, as Notre Dame went 21-15 with an 8-10 mark in ACC play to finish in a tie for 10th with Syracuse. The Irish defeated Pitt and Virginia Tech in the first two rounds before losing to Duke in the ACC quarterfinals. Notre Dame was ruled to be one of the first four teams out of the NCAA tournament, giving them a #1 seed in the NIT where the Irish defeated Hampton before falling to Penn State in their next outing. Notre Dame’s issue for this season will be replacing three double-digit scoring seniors from last year’s squad as Martinas Geben, Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell all graduated. The reins of the team are left to T.J. Gibbs who averaged 15.3 points per game for Notre Dame last season while also hoping for a healthy D.J. Harvey who was showing signs of being a star for the Irish before suffering a season-ending knee injury last season. Time will tell if this is the year that Notre Dame can take another step and get back to the big dance for the 10th time in 13 seasons. As a team, Notre Dame averaged 74.9 points per game on 44.3% from the field, 35.8% from behind the arc and 75.8% from the foul line last season.
UIC is 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 non-conference games. Notre Dame is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games while the under is 6-1 in their last 7 games overall.
Notre Dame should be favoured here, but I need to see that the Irish can move on from the loss of Colson and Farrell and that Gibbs can lead the team on his own. UIC may not have the name recognition that Notre Dame does, but the Flames were solid ATS on the road last season and have enough talent to keep this one fairly close so I’ll take a shot with UIC and the points in this one.