Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4779 Notre Dame vs.
#4780 Virginia
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 4:30pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

It’s a battle of ACC foes on the hardwood in the Old Dominion. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish is on the road as they make the trip to face the #18 Virginia Cavaliers Wednesday afternoon. Notre Dame dropped a 77-63 road decision to Virginia Tech in their previous contest on Sunday. Virginia took a 61-49 road win over Boston College in their most recent game on Saturday. The Cavaliers hold a commanding 15-2 advantage in the all-time series between the programs and have won the last five meetings. That includes a 66-57 road victory in the most recent matchup on December 30, 2020.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hoping to Turn Things Around

Notre Dame suffered their third straight loss and their fifth in the last seven games as they were knocked off by Virginia Tech in their last contest. The Fighting Irish dropped to 3-7 overall and stand 0-4 in the ACC as coach Mike Brey is trying to get his team on track. Against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame played a solid first half and a terrible second one, sending them to defeat. The Fighting Irish held a 42-35 edge at halftime before things fell apart. Notre Dame gave up an 8-0 run out of the gate in the second half as part of the Virginia Tech onslaught. All told, the Fighting Irish was outscored 42-21 in the second half as they took the loss. Notre Dame shot just 37.5 percent from the field, including six of 23 from three-point range, and was beaten 41-24 on the glass in the contest. Nate Laszewski led the Fighting Irish with 17 points in the loss.

The Fighting Irish stands 220th in the nation in scoring offense as they average 70.6 points per game. Notre Dame is just 316th with 31.6 rebounds per contest while the team is 129th by dishing out 14.2 assists a night. The Fighting Irish needs to be better on the defensive end of the floor as they allow 74.5 points per game this year, leaving them 272nd in scoring defense. Prentiss Hubb is second on the team with 14.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest this season. Nate Laszewski chips in a team-leading 17.2 points plus 7.8 boards a game, Dane Goodwin puts up 13.6 points plus five rebounds per contest and Cormac Ryan puts up 8.7 points plus 3.4 assists per contest. Coach Mike Brey has a short rotation as only Juwan Durham, Trey Wertz and Nikolo Djogo are the only other players averaging double-digit minutes on the year for the team. Notre Dame shoots 44.5 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Fighting Irish connects on 9.2 three-pointers a night while shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. Notre Dame is above average at the charity stripe, cashing in 79.5 percent of their chances this season.

Virginia Cavaliers Seeking Fourth Straight Win

Virginia won their third straight and their sixth in the last seven games as they took down Boston College on the road Saturday. The Cavaliers ran their mark to 7-2 on the season overall and 3-0 in the ACC, leaving them tied with Louisville and Duke atop the conference. Against Boston College, Virginia led by as many as eight and trailed by as many as five in the opening half before taking a three-point edge to the locker room. The Cavaliers gave up a three to tie the game at 29 in the opening minute of the second half before going on a 12-2 run over the next seven minutes to take a 41-31 lead. Virginia didn’t see their lead drop below five the rest of the way. The Cavaliers shot 45.3 percent from the field, including four of 15 from three-point range, and held Boston College to 30.9 percent shooting in the game. Jay Huff led Virginia with 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in the contest.

The Cavaliers come into this game putting up an average of 71.6 points a game this season, which is 196th in the nation. Virginia grabs 32.7 boards a night while dishing out an average of 12.9 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are stifling defensively: they enter this contest 11th in the nation in scoring defense by allowing a measly 59.4 points per game. Sam Hauser is the team’s leading scorer as he puts up 13.7 points plus 7.3 rebounds per game this season. Jay Huff (12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks), Trey Murphy III (11 points) and Kihei Clark (10.7 points, 3.3 assists) are all averaging in double figures this season. Casey Morsell, Reece Beekman, Justin McKoy, Tomas Woldetensae and Kadin Shedrick all log key minutes for Tony Bennett’s squad. The Cavaliers shoot 49.2 percent from the field as a team on the year. Virginia connects on 7.4 triples per game this season while sinking 34.7 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers have been excellent at the charity stripe, hitting 79.5 percent at the line so far this season.

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We’ve seen how Notre Dame has struggled this season and their short rotation is a major reason why. The Fighting Irish doesn’t have the depth to give their key guys a breather and that can prove problematic, especially against a Virginia team that is suffocating on the defensive end of the floor. As it stands, the addition of Hauser has helped the Cavaliers on the offensive end, making them that much more dangerous. The Cavaliers have won three straight and six of seven while Notre Dame has dropped three straight and five of their last seven. Playing at home works in Virginia’s favor as they take care of business here.

Prediction: Virginia Cavaliers -11

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Notre Dame has had some defensive deficiencies this season and that’s problematic for a team with no depth and mediocre offensive production. The Fighting Irish is 295th in three-point field goal percentage defense (37.7 percent), 344th in turnover percentage (12.4 percent) and 339th in steal percentage (5.3 percent) on the season. Notre Dame has to deal with a Virginia team that is 34th in offensive efficiency, 21st in effective field goal percentage (56 percent), sixth in turnover percentage (13.5 percent) and 12th in two-point field goal percentage (58.6 percent) this season. The Cavaliers are 357th, or dead last, among Division I teams in tempo with 58.7 possessions a night. Notre Dame is 286th with 66.8 possessions a night. With the way Virginia plays defense, this one keeps Notre Dame in check offensively and this one ends up just short of the number.

Prediction: Under 124
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

Bio Coming soon!