Road to March Madness: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-12) Vs. #1 Virginia Cavaliers (26-2) Game Information
When March Madness begins in a couple of weeks, college basketball fans will almost instantly forget about what happened in the regular season. Sure, the bracket seeding will serve as a reminder of which teams excelled over the past few months, but we will all probably forget about just how crazy and unpredictable this season was. Every week of the regular season seemed to deliver some sort of stunning upset, making it impossible to determine which team was going to be sitting in the #1 spot from week to week. The Virginia Cavaliers have held steady at the #1 spot for a few weeks now but have 2 more games to come before they can claim that position heading into the tournament. They will start things off with a game against Louisville on Thursday night before closing out the regular season with a home game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While these are games you would expect the Cavs to win, you can’t help but wonder if this regular season will deliver one more big upset before all is said and done.
— Virginia Cavaliers (@VirginiaSports) March 1, 2018
What: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-12) Vs. #1 Virginia Cavaliers (26-2)
When: Saturday, March 03, 2018 at 4:00 P.M ET
What: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
The Line: TBA
Why bet on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
What started out as a promising season for the Fighting Irish quickly turned into a nightmare once ACC Conference play got underway. They went on a 7-game losing skid early on, and while they have been better of late, the damage was done during that run. As we said, things have picked up for the Irish in recent weeks, as they have now won 4 of their last 6 games. None of those wins have come against ranked opponents, though, which has been a common theme for this team. Notre Dame has played 6 games against ranked foes, going just 1-5 in those meetings. You have to say that things do not look good for them against the best team in the nation. The Irish have not been able to crack the top 100 in scoring and will likely struggle against the best defense in college basketball. Notre Dame is 11-15 ATS and 14-10 O/U this season.
Why bet on the Virginia Cavaliers
The ACC Conference has already been locked up by the Virginia Cavaliers, but there is still some business to take care of for this team. It all begins with securing the #1 seed heading into the tournament, which they are almost certainly going to be able to do. Louisville on the road on Thursday night might be a bit of a tricky one, but you would certainly like their chances of taking down Notre Dame on home court in front of what is sure to be a fired-up crowd. Virginia is 15-1 in their own building this season and it’s hard to imagine that they would drop another one with so much to play for on Saturday night. They have been able to smother teams on the defensive side of the court all season long, and I think we can expect more of the same against the Irish.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I believe that the Cavaliers are going to close out their regular season with a pair of wins this week, including a comfortable victory over the Irish this weekend.
Predicted Score: Notre Dame Fighting Irish 59 Virginia Cavaliers 68