Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 9th 2023


No. 8 Marquette is flying high again as it prepares to host rival Notre Dame in a non-conference matchup on Saturday night in Milwaukee.

The Golden Eagles (7-2) dismantled No. 12 Texas 86-65 on Wednesday behind a season-high 28 points from Tyler Kolek.

Notre Dame (4-4) won by the same score over Western Michigan on Monday.

The Golden Eagles were coming off a 75-64 loss at Wisconsin in which they were outrebounded 38-23 and made just 7 of 29 shots from 3-point range.

“There was some real conversation and reflection after Saturday’s game, as a team and individually, amongst all of our players and staff,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “I think the difference between the good teams and the great team, is the great teams are able to come together after adversity.”

Marquette rectified the issues and more against Texas. The Golden Eagles held a 37-30 edge in rebounds versus the Longhorns.

Marquette also connected on a season-high 14 3-pointers versus Texas, led by the backcourt duo of Kam Jones (5-of-7) and Kolek (4-of-9).

Jones averages a team-high 16.4 points per game and Kolek adds 15.1. Oso Ighadoro contributes 12.2 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds.

Texas was the latest ranked opponent in Marquette’s demanding early-season schedule. The Golden Eagles also have defeated Kansas, Illinois and UCLA, and dropped decisions to Purdue and Wisconsin.

“You don’t want to take anyone for granted, but at the same time, our guys came to Marquette to play against teams like Texas, teams like Wisconsin, teams like Purdue, teams like Notre Dame, who we have next,” Smart said. “When you make this schedule, you know you’re probably not going to go through it completely unfazed, because it’s just not necessarily realistic. But you just want to grow from each game and I love the way our guys have been able to do that.”

Notre Dame averages 64.9 points while allowing 66.0. The Fighting Irish are shooting just 28.1 percent from 3-point range (55-for-196), while opponents are shooting 32.3 percent from deep.

Markus Burton averages a team-best 15.1 points per game for Notre Dame.

Tae Davis contributes 10.4 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per contest, including a career-high 19 points and 10 boards against the Broncos. Davis has recorded back-to-back double-double performances.

“We’ve simplified a lot in what we’re running, what we’re doing,” Notre Dame coach Micah Shrewsberry said following the game against Western Michigan. “Which has allowed guys to not have to think as much. That’s the thing you want.”

This will be the 120th meeting in the series that has lost some of its luster since the heyday years of ’70s between Al McGuire’s Marquette teams and Digger Phelps at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame leads 81-38 in the series, which resumed last season for the first meeting since the Big East tournament in 2013. The Golden Eagles posted a 79-64 win at Notre Dame.

–Field Level Media

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