#20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-2 SU, 7-3-1 ATS, 7-4 O/U) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (13-3 SU, 7-5 ATS, 7-5 O/U)
NCAAB: Saturday, January 14, 2017, Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia, 2 pm ET
Spread: Virginia Tech -2, Over/Under: 154.5
It’s a clash of ACC programs on the parquet floor up in Blacksburg. The #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are on the road to battle the Virginia Tech Hokies Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame extended their win streak to six games with a 67-62 road win at Miami (FL) Thursday night. Virginia Tech stopped a two game slide with an 83-73 home win over Syracuse Tuesday night. The Fighting Irish have won the six previous meetings between the schools, including a 83-81 home win in the last matchup on January 20, 2016.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Goes For Seven in a Row
Notre Dame picked up a big road win over Miami (FL) to remain unbeaten in ACC action this season. The Fighting Irish is just 2-0 on the road this year as most of their games have come at home early on. Notre Dame rallied in the closing minutes of a seesaw second half: they led by as many as 11 and trailed by four with under three minutes to go before closing the game on a 10-1 run. The Fighting Irish overcame shooting 37.3 percent from the floor and 5 of 20 from three point range in the game. Notre Dame was beaten 47-38 on the glass but limited the Hurricanes to 38.1 percent from the field. Matt Farrell led the Fighting Irish with 15 points and six assists in the win.
The Fighting Irish is tied for 40th in scoring offense as they average 81.4 points per game this season. Notre Dame is tied for 173rd in rebounding with 36.7 boards a night and is tied for 16th with 17.6 assists per contest. The Fighting Irish has been good defensively as they are 68th in scoring defense by allowing 66.4 points per contest. Notre Dame shoots 46.8 percent from the floor this season as a team. The Fighting Irish are hitting 9.8 treys a night while splashing 39.5 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Bonzie Colson leads Notre Dame with 15.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per contest. V.J. Beachem contributes 14.5 points plus 3.9 boards a night while Steve Vasturia chips in 14.7 points and 3.2 assists a contest. Matt Farrell puts up 14.1 points plus 5.5 dimes a night. Matt Ryan, Rex Pfleuger, Temple Gibbs, and Martinas Geben each are playing double digit minutes per contest.
Virginia Tech Looks to Break Through vs. Notre Dame
Virginia Tech bounced back from road losses to Florida State and NC State to beat Syracuse at home. That ran the Hokies’ home mark to a perfect 10-0 on the year. Virginia Tech shot the ball well as they hit 49.1 percent from the field in the game and went 8 of 20 from beyond the arc. The Hokies got Syracuse’s thin rotation in foul trouble and it paid off in 27 trips to the free throw line, of which they converted 19. Virginia Tech was beaten 38-31 on the boards but kept Syracuse to 5 of 17 from three point range. Zach LeDay led the team with 21 points plus six rebounds in the win.
The Hokies have been a good offensive unit so far this season, ranking 25th in the nation with 83.3 points per game. Virginia Tech is tied for 204th in rebounding with 35.9 boards a contest and is 41st by dishing out 16.6 assists per game. The Hokies are average defensively as they are 184th in scoring defense, allowing 72.1 points per game. Virginia Tech is shooting 48.8 percent from the floor as a team this year. The Hokies knock down 8.8 three pointers a game while hitting 39.9 percent of their three point attempts. Zach LeDay leads the team with 16.6 points plus 7.7 rebounds per game. Ahmed Hill contributes 15.1 points a contest, Justin Robinson chips in 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game and Seth Allen puts in 10.7 points a night. Chris Clarke (12.3 points, 7.6 boards, 3.8 assists), Justin Bibbs, Khadim Sy and Ty Outlaw are the other key cogs in the rotation for coach Buzz Williams.
- Fighting Irish are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win
- Fighting Irish are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Fighting Irish are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- No Key Trends
This one has the makings of a track meet as both teams have solid balanced scoring and solid shooting from both the interior and the perimeter. The Hokies are a perfect 10-0 at home but Notre Dame proved they can win in a hostile environment. Notre Dame beat Virginia Tech by 25 in their last meeting here. This one won’t be that one-sided but I think the Fighting Irish has a little more depth and that proves critical in a close game.