Notre Dame at Louisville Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,March 2, 2017 9:08, EST in

Seeding for the ACC Tournament is on the line Saturday and maybe, just maybe, a shot at sharing the ACC regular-season title, when No. 19 Notre Dame visits No. 8 Louisville. It’s one of the best games of the final Saturday of the 2016-17 college basketball regular season. The Cards will be home favorites in college basketball lines.

Notre Dame at Louisville Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, March 4, 2 PM ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
TV: CBS
Stream: CBSSports.com
RadioNotre Dame / Louisville
Opening NCAAB Lines: Louisville favored by TBA

Why Bet On Notre Dame?

The 2016-17 senior class of Steve Vasturia, V.J. Beachem and Austin Torres (Torres will return for a fifth-year of eligibility in 2017-18) could become the winningest class in Notre Dame basketball history. The 16-17 class has compiled 89 wins over the past four years, putting the all-time mark of 97 by the 2012-13 group in reach (Notre Dame has at least 13 games remaining this season, including a game in the ACC Championship and a post season appearance).

Forward Bonzie Colson, a candidate for the Wooden Award, Naismith Award and the ACC Player of the Year, has posted seven 20-point, 10-rebound performances this year. All seven of those performances have come against Power 5 Conference teams. Colson is the only ACC player to rank in the conference top 10 for scoring (10th, 16.8), rebounding (1st, 10.6) and free throw percentage (10th, .811).

Colson has been labeled as ‘under-sized,’ due to his listed 6-5 height measurement. He does boast a 7-2 wing span, however, which helps the Irish captain lead the ACC in rebounding at 10.6 per game. Should Colson continue to lead the league in rebounding, he will become the shortest ACC player to lead the league in rebounding since South Carolina’s Grady Wallace grabbed 14.4 rebounds per game in 1957 – a span of 60 years. Since 1958 (Pete Brennan, North Carolina) Colson would be the only player under 6-7 to lead the ACC in rebounding.

Junior guard Matt Farrell has established a pattern of solid play in the second half of Notre Dame’s games in the ACC. Farrell has scored double-figures in eight of 16 second halves played in the ACC this season, including a season-high 14 in the victory over Georgia Tech.

The Irish enter the final week of the regular season the national leader in free throw percentage (81.5). The NCAA record free throw shooting percentage is 82.2 by Harvard in 1984. The Irish are in the running to threaten that mark this season and could set a new ACC single-season record (.799 by NC State in 2004). Notre Dame’s assist-to- turnover ratio of 1.68 is the second-best in the nation behind UCLA (1.85).

Notre Dame beat Louisville 77-70 on Jan. 4. Vasturia scored a career-high 24 points. Vasturia’s fallaway one-hander in the lane with 19 seconds to play put the Irish up 73-68 and they hit four straight free throws from there to seal the win.

Why Bet On Louisville?

The Cards are preparing for March Madness after spending the last one on the sidelines because the university self-imposed a postseason ban in the wake of allegations of NCAA violations. Veterans like Quentin Snider and Mangok Mathiang are used to postseason prep. But for the first time, the younger guys are navigating Rick Pitino’s morphing approach to practices.

One of the biggest things that has kept sophomore wing Deng Adel from a breakout season on the same level as Donovan Mitchell is the former’s inconsistency. The 6-foot- 7 Adel has yet to put together three consecutive offensive ratings better than 100 in league play. Instead, he generally has a great game then a not-so- great one, then another great one, then a not-so- great one. One of U of L’s best assets this season has been its depth, especially in the frontcourt. Pitino has the luxury of four different big men who can rotate in and out.

Mitchell leads three Cardinals who are averaging double figures. He is averaging 16.1 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. Snider ranks second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game along with a team leading 94 assists. Adel rounds out the top scorers with 11.4 points per game. Jaylen Johnson leads the Cardinals on the boards with 6.0 rebounds per game. As a team, the Cardinals are shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from behind the arc. UofL is averaging 39.7 rebounds per game while holding opponents to 34.2 rebounds a game.

Louisville is 11th in the nation in field goal defense (.391), ninth in blocked shots (5.6 bpg), 14th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.304), 13th in scoring margin (+13.0) and 13th in offensive rebounds per game (13.4). Louisville has a 32-8 record (.800) in March over the last five years (since 2012). The Cards are 17-8 record in regular season games in March over the last 12 years (since 2005).

Notre Dame at Louisville Expert Pick: Louisville Cardinals

Cards will take care of business at home.