Saturday college basketball and we will see the Virginia Cavaliers travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game has a start time of 6:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN 2. Current Vegas betting odds have Virginia listed as 2 point favorites, while the total is set at 128.
Analysis: The Virginia Cavaliers come in as one of the top teams in the nation, as they are ranked 3rd in the polls with a perfect 14-0 record, that includes a 4-0 mark in true road games and a 2-0 mark in the ACC. Virginia is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS loss, 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 vs. Atlantic Coast and 27-11-2 ATS in their last 40 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Virginia has been a solid offensive team this year, ranking 105th in scoring (71.2 ppg), 24th in shooting (48.3%), 38th in 3 point shooting (38.7%) and 32nd in FT shooting (74.1%). Defensively Cavs have been excellent, ranking 2nd in points allowed (50.8 ppg), 2nd in defensive FG% (33.9%) and 87th in 3 point defense (30.9%).
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have gotten off to a very nice start this year as they currently have a 15-1 record, that includes a 71-70 road win over North Carolina on Monday night. The Irish were not ranked to begin the year, but are currently ranked 13th in the polls and have won 11 in a row since a one point loss to Providence. The Irish are 2-0 in the ACC. Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win, but 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 vs. Atlantic Coast and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Irish have been a very good offensive squad this year, ranking 3rd in scoring (85.0 ppg), 1st in shooting (54.8%), 9th in 3 point shooting (40.6%) and 57th in FT shooting (72.6%). The defense for this team has been solid, ranking 96th in points allowed (62.4 ppg), 68th in defensive FG% (39.4%) and 138th in 3 point defense (32.4%).
Pick: Last year these teams faced each other twice and just 121 and 119 points were scored in those games. I can see that happening again here. Virginia has been one of the best defensive team all year and the Irish have allowed just 60.3 ppg at home so far. Notre Dame will look to run, but Virginia gets back very well on defense, which should really force the Irish into more of a halfcourt game, which is something that Virginia already plays on offense. Hard to see wither team hitting 645 points in this one.
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