North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pick & Prediction MARCH 5th 2024

North Carolina looks to claim at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown when it faces Notre Dame on Tuesday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

The No. 9 Tar Heels (23-6, 15-3 ACC) are one game ahead of second-place Duke with two games remaining. North Carolina visits the No. 10 Blue Devils on Saturday.

The Tar Heels have won four straight games following an uneven stretch in which they lost three of five. North Carolina recorded a 79-70 home win over North Carolina State on Saturday.

“It was very satisfying to get a win,” said Elliot Cadeau, who had 15 points and seven assists against NC State. “The crowd was crazy and there was definitely a higher energy. But we have bigger goals for the season. Our goal is to hang a banner and win the ACC regular season.”

Harrison Ingram poured in a season-best 22 points while reaching the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season.

“I don’t think they had anyone on the court — I don’t want to sound cocky — that was suited to guard me,” Ingram said. “We were just trying to take advantage of the mismatch. Their switching put me into a lot of ball screens and posting up.”

ACC scoring leader RJ Davis (21.4 points per game) had just 14 points against NC State but did move into 10th place on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,926 points. He passed Tar Heels legend Brad Daugherty (1,912 from 1982-86).

North Carolina coach Hubert Davis wasn’t feeling so great when NC State shot 57.6 percent in the first half and held a 45-37 halftime lead. But the Tar Heels put the clamps on the Wolfpack in the second half, holding them to 22.2 percent shooting while outscoring them 42-25.

“Always for this year, it has always been the defense that fuels offense,” Hubert Davis said. “That’s something I talk about. That’s something that I preach — to be the best that we can be, we have to step it up on the defensive end. We have to rebound and take care of the basketball.”

Notre Dame (12-17, 7-11) has endured a tough season but has been solid lately with five victories in the past six games.

The Fighting Irish defeated Wake Forest (70-65) and Clemson (69-62) in their last two outings.

Notre Dame held Clemson to 39 percent shooting and 5 of 28 from 3-point range during Saturday’s home victory.

“We talked about before the game — Clemson (is) an NCAA Tournament team, right? That’s not debatable. They’re in the tournament,” Fighting Irish coach Micah Shrewsberry said afterward.

“We talked about this is our chance to measure up against a team like that and see where we are and see what we look like. And this is the second game in a row where we’ve gone in, made some adjustments at halftime, and then, really executed those adjustments, and I’m proud of our guys.”

Freshman star Markus Burton scored 21 points for his third straight 20-point outing. He has scored 80 points over the last three games to raise his team-leading scoring average to 17.3, which ranks eighth in the ACC.

Burton scored a season-best 31 points against Wake Forest on Feb. 27 and had 28 during an 88-85 loss to host Syracuse three days earlier.

Tae Davis scored 18 points against Clemson for his fourth double-digit outing in the past five games. His output against the Tigers was one shy of his season best.

Carey Booth added 11 points and is averaging 13 over the past two games.

This is the lone regular-season matchup between the programs this season. The Tar Heels have won 11 of the past 13 meetings.

–Field Level Media

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