Notre Dame vs #18 Virginia

Notre Dame vs #18 Virginia | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 12, 2021

It has been a rough season for the Notre Dame men’s basketball program and the Irish are surely staring at another ACC loss on Wednesday night when they visit No. 18 Virginia, which should be a double-digit favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Notre Dame at Virginia NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
  • When: Wednesday, 4:30 PM ET
  • Where: John Paul Jones Arena
  • TV: ACC Network
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Virginia will be favored)
Last Meeting

The schools met on Dec. 30 in South Bend and Virginia won 66-57. The Cavs blew nearly all of an 11-point second-half lead but then pulled away late. Kihei Clark had 19 points and five assists as Virginia continued its string of dominance over Notre Dame. The Cavaliers are 10-0 in ACC regular-season matchups against the Irish. Jay Huff scored 15 points for Virginia. Sam Hauser added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Notre Dame fell despite a career-high 28 points from Nate Laszewski. The junior forward hit 8 of 11 shots from the field with four 3-pointers to go with 8 of 10 at the line. The Irish, trailing 30-23 at the time, lost starting guard Trey Wertz to a left ankle injury with 30 seconds to go in the first half.

Why Bet on Notre Dame? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Irish (3-7) lost their third in a row Sunday, 77-63 at No. 19 Virginia Tech. Notre Dame had just two field goals in the second half when they were outscored 42-21. Notre Dame led 50-49 after a 3-pointer by Prentiss Hubb with 12:16 remaining, but that was the Fighting Irish’s last field goal. Keve Aluma started an 11-3 run with two free throws and ended it with a dunk with 9:11 left to give Virginia Tech the lead for good.

“You’re not going to beat a good team playing 20 or 25 minutes, and that’s kind of what we’ve done against really good teams — and they’re really good,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “They’re really a gifted team so … we’re learning, trying to learn the hard way to put 40 minutes together.”

Nate Laszewski (17 points) and Dane Goodwin’s (12 points) efforts kept the Irish in the competition with a combined 29 points and five rebounds. Eleven of Laszewski’s 17 points came from the free-throw line (11-of-12, 91.7%)

In his first start of the season, Nikola Djogo recorded a season-high six rebounds against the Hokies. Notre Dame showcased an impressive 80.8 free throw percentage (21-of-26), maintaining its leading position in free-throw shooting percentage within the ACC.

After shooting 55% from the field in the first half and putting up 42 points, Notre Dame made just two of its 19 attempts after halftime. This includes the Irish missing their final 15 shots, not making any field goals after the 12:15 mark of the second half.

The Irish are 12th in the country in free throw percentage at .793. Trim that national list to teams that have played at least eight games and Notre Dame is sixth in the country and Colorado is the only major conference team ahead of the Irish (third, .856).

Why Bet on Virginia? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Virginia (7-2) won 61-49 at Boston College on Saturday despite UVA going almost nine minutes in the first half without scoring. Boston College stayed close in the first half by scoring 14 straight points while holding Virginia without a point for 8:44. But the Eagles didn’t really take full advantage: They went scoreless for more than five minutes themselves, with the score was stuck at 18-16 from the 11:06 mark until there was 5:56 left in the half. The drought turned an 18-11 Virginia lead into a 25-18 deficit. But the Cavaliers scored the next nine points and took a three-point lead into the half.

BC hit a three to open the second half and tie the game. Virginia then went on a 12-2 run to take its largest lead, 41-31. The Cavaliers extended their lead to 56-39 with a 9-0 run with six minutes to play. BC didn’t get closer than 11 for the remainder of the game.

Jay Huff led the team with 18 points and Sam Hauser had his third-straight double-double. The 7-1 Huff was a formidable last line of defense for Virginia. He blocked a season-high five shots, giving him 123 for his career, and matched his career high with 18 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

“His length bothered them,” Coach Tony Bennett said, “and then when he played one-on-one [defense], he was good.”

Hauser had 17 points and 10 boards and Kihei Clark had 12 points with three assists. Virginia shot 45.3 percent from the floor and held Boston College to 30.9 percent shooting. The Cavaliers had 17 points off turnovers and led 32-16 in points in the paint. The Eagles stayed in a matchup zone throughout the game. The Cavaliers shot only 26.7 percent from 3-point range, but inside the arc they were 20 of 38 (52.5 percent).

Sophomore guard Casey Morsell has missed the past two games while following contact tracing protocols after a member of the Virginia staff tested positive New Year’s Day. Morsell has started three games this season. He is averaging 5.7 points and 1.4 rebounds this season, but his most valuable contributions are on defense. In addition to Morsell, the Cavaliers also have been without reserves Kadin Shedrick, Austin Katstra and Kody Stattmann,

Expert Prediction
  • Virginia 70, Notre Dame 60

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