ACC basement dwellers are coming out to play, with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-13, 5-17-1 ATS, 2-10 ACC) in Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-15, 9-13-0 ATS, 1-12 ACC). These teams played a thriller on January 10, with Notre Dame winning 73-72 in OT. Notre Dame has walked away victorious in seven of the last eight meetings. This game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 p.m. in Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion.
Can ND Bring the Fight Away from Home?Notre Dame has only played five road games, but they haven't won any yet. It doesn't help that all five of those were in the ACC where they are just 2-10, only 1.5 games above last-place Georgia Tech. Notre Dame is 170 in the nation according to KenPom, and another appearance in the NCAA tournament isn't in their cards unless they win the ACC tournament.
Their last game was an 81-64 home loss to Wake Forest that saw the Fighting Irish trail the entire second half. They only shot 38.0% from the field and 19.0% from three. Notre Dame was outrebounded 41-33. Nate Laszweski had 18 points and seven rebounds, leading the team in both statistics.
The Fighting Irish play at a slow pace, ranking 315th in adjusted tempo. They are 10th in the ACC putting up 70.4 points per game because of it. However, they are an incredible three-point shooting team, knocking down 36.7% of their three balls which is third in the conference and 50th in the country. Conversely, they average the fewest offensive boards per game in the ACC with just 6.9.
Slow tempo has not saved their defense, as they allow 72.0 points per game despite it, 12th in the 15-school ACC. Opposing teams shoot 46.8% against them, last in the conference and 339th in the nation. Opponents also convert 34.9% of threes on them, 13th in the ACC. The Fighting Irish average the fewest steal per game among ACC teams, 4.7.
Losing Streak Continues to Sting Yellow JacketsGeorgia Tech has lost nine in a row since their stunning upset over Miami (FL). Their 1-12 record in the ACC is the worst, just barely below Louisville who beat them recently. The Yellow Jackets aren't the worst team in the ACC according to KenPom though, coming in at 208 which edges out Louisville.
The latest loss for the Yellow Jackets was a 72-64 defeat against North Carolina State that saw them cover the spread as 15-point underdogs on the road. The game was tied at 61 with 2:34 left before NC State closed it out with an 11-3 run. Georgia Tech turned the ball over 17 times in the loss. Miles Kelly nearly had a double-double, but still led the team with 17 points and nine rebounds. Ja'von Franklin had a team-high five assists and a few highlight-reel dunks.
GO OFF, JA'VON FRANKLIN 👏— Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball (@GTMBB) February 4, 2023
📺: https://t.co/AFAEKv1tOi#GaTech 54, NC State 52 | 7:47 2nd pic.twitter.com/I7OvKeAT6x
Miles Kelly is the leading scorer for an offense that only puts up 67.1 points per game, 13th in the ACC and 299th in the country. Their 41.2% shooting from the floor is the worst in the conference and 329th in the nation this season. The Yellow Jackets only hit 68.6% of their free throws too, another conference-worst number.
Despite playing at a higher pace, Georgia Tech allows fewer points per game than Notre Dame, holding teams to 71.2 a night against them. Their three-point defense is a major reason, as they limit foes to 30.9% from deep which is second in the ACC and 48th nationwide. Overall, opposing teams shoot 44.1% against the Yellow Jackets.
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Full-Game Side Bet
Georgia Tech's losing streak is coming to an end. Notre Dame has not won on the road yet, and although they beat Georgia Tech the first time, it was narrowly at home. The Fighting Irish had a nice shooting night from beyond the arc against a stellar three-point defense that likely won't happen again. They also got thoroughly outrebounded in that one, a trend that's plagued them all season. This game should be tight, but Georgia Tech's defense will shine again, and they'll take advantage of a porous Notre Dame defense. The Yellow Jackets will cover the spread.
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Full-Game Total Pick
The over only hit in the first meeting between these schools because the game went to overtime. The final tally after the first 40 minutes was 130 total points. The biggest offensive strength for Notre Dame, three-point efficiency, is countered by Georgia Tech's defense. Georgia Tech's offense is one of the worst shooting teams in the country. These teams also are the two worst in the ACC at getting to the free-throw line, meaning less scoring while the clock isn't running. Notre Dame plays at a snail's pace, and Georgia Tech also plays on the slower end of the spectrum. The under will certainly hit this time, barring another overtime or two.