Check out today’s “3-Point Shot” for our top college basketball plays:
Illinois at Notre Dame
When and Where: Tuesday, Nov. 28, Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind., 7 p.m. EST.
Notre Dame looks to wrap up its season-opening seven-game homestand with a four-game winning streak Tuesday night when it hosts Illinois as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Illini seek marquee victory after empty trip to Maui
The Fighting Illini (2-4) needed a confidence-booster after losing three games in the Maui Invitational and finishing last in the eight-team event. They got just that with a solid 86-67 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday that snapped a four-game skid.
— Illini Basketball (@IlliniMBB) November 25, 2018
Trent Frazier hit 4 of 6 from 3-point range and scored 16 points as Illinois matched a school record with 16 3-pointers. Coach Brad Underwood received solid contributions from the bench as four different players hit at least two shots from beyond the arc while Kipper Nichols added a season-high 14 points.
“I think that’s a little bit about who we are,” Underwood told the News-Gazette. “I really, really like them when they go in. We know we’re going to be that team a little bit, and we’ve got a lot of guys who can make them. I like that concept. I think we have to find a little better balance throwing the ball into the paint.”
Ayo Dosunmu contributed six points with season highs of nine assists and nine rebounds without committing a turnover in 33 minutes. The 6-foot-5 freshman guard is averaging 14.5 points and 3.7 assists while shooting 50 percent from 3-point range and 50.8 percent overall.
Frazier is averaging a team-best 17.6 points and Aaron Jordan is also in double figures in scoring at 10.2 per game for Illinois, which is shooting at a 40.9 percent clip from deep. That has helped overshadow some of the issues on the defensive end, where the Illini have allowed opponents to shoot 50 percent overall and 52.4 percent in the last five games.
Illinois is 8-11 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and has a 3-5 record on the road in this series. The Illini lost 80-73 at Wake Forest last season, their fifth defeat in the last six games in this series.
Irish coming off best game of season as homestand draws to close
Notre Dame (5-1) has reeled off three straight wins since its 63-60 loss to Radford on Nov. 14 and put together its most complete 40-minute effort Saturday with a 95-70 rout of previously unbeaten DePaul.
Frosh get us going in first 20…
Veteran guards close it out in 2nd 20…
The ✨highlights✨ pic.twitter.com/McrqikR79R
— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) November 24, 2018
Rex Pfleuger scored a career-high 20 points and T.J. Gibbs added 18 as the Fighting Irish shot a season-high 55 percent and matched a season-best with 13 3-pointers while connecting on 48.1 percent of those attempts. Pfleuger, who entered that game averaging just 6.6 points, made all four of his tries from beyond the arc.
“This was a huge steppingstone for us,” Gibbs told the Chicago Tribune. “You can see as the competition gets a little better, we have to raise our competitive spirit. It starts in practice, and we are only making each other better. This is another step to that. We are far from a finished product, but we needed this.”
Gibbs and fellow junior John Mooney are the only players in double figures at 12.8 and 12.2 points per game, respectively, while another four players are averaging at least 7.8 points. Despite the 3-point barrage versus the Blue Demons, the Fighting Irish are shooting just 31.5 percent from deep thus far.
Notre Dame is 3-2 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge but was routed 81-63 at Michigan State last season. The Irish, whose home victories came over the Spartans and Iowa, also won 84-79 at Illinois in 2015.
Notre Dame is:
- 16-6 ATS in its last 22 games after scoring 90 or more points in the previous game.
- 4-1 ATS in its last five Tuesday games.
- The under is 8-2 in its last 10 games as a home favorite.
- The under is 4-1 in its last five games following a straight up win.
- The under is 9-2 in its last 11 games as a favorite.
- 2-7 ATS in its last nine games following a straight up win.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
- 7-18-2 ATS in its last 27 Tuesday games.
- The under is 47-16 in its last 63 games as a road underdog.
- The under is 35-16 in its last 51 games as an underdog between 0.5 and 6.5 points.
- The under is 55-21 in its last 76 road games vs. teams with an above-.500 home winning percentage.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite their youth, the Irish are one of the more efficient teams offensively in the country, and facing a team in Illinois that allows opponents to shoot 50 percent is tailor-made for them to wrap up their homestand on a positive note. Notre Dame is starting to get contributions beyond Gibbs and Mooney, and while the Illini have some promising young talent, the Irish have experienced players at key positions to deliver a win.
Prediction: Pick: Notre Dame -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The matchup at the point between Gibbs and Dosunmu will be one to watch, and the Illini freshman is still learning how to balance his role in the offensive as a combo guard. Gibbs has gotten off to a slow start shooting — he has made just 32.4 percent of his shots while hitting just 8 of 38 from beyond the arc — but his defense will be key here as Notre Dame get the under to squeak through.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 148
Half-Time Side Pick
The Irish have led at halftime in five of their first six games, and in the one they did not, they trailed by only three. While competitive, Illinois has trailed in three of its four games after 20 minutes against high-major opponents, and with this being the young team’s first true road game, look for the Fighting Irish to get the jump here.
Prediction: Pick: Notre Dame -3.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The Illini have been more than willing to play to the tempo of their opponents when facing high-major teams — they have ranged from 71 to 84 in the first half of those four games. While the Irish are one of the slower teams in the country in terms of tempo, they are still averaging over 109 points per 100 possessions and crash the boards well. It will be close, but the over should barely hit.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 71 points