Cassell Coliseum Blacksburg

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Virginia Tech Hokies Pick & Prediction, Sat Jan 15 06:00 PM

NCAAB | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Notre Dame Fighting Irish
VS
Logo Virginia Tech Hokies
0
OPENNER
131.5

7 -110
CURRENT
132o -110

+240
MONEYLINE
-280

73
SCORE
79

For Virginia Tech, the numbers just don't add up.

The Hokies like to think they should be an NCAA Tournament contender. But their record says they're in the Atlantic Coast Conference basement.

Slumping Tech (8-7, 0-4) carries a four-game ACC losing streak into Saturday evening's game against surging Notre Dame (10-5, 4-1) when the Hokies will try to justify their lofty aspirations.

This is a Virginia Tech team, after all, that has been to the NCAA Tournament in four of the past five years, was projected this season as a top-five ACC team, and even now is ranked No. 31 by Kenpom.com.

On Wednesday night the Hokies lost their third in a row in typically aggravating fashion. They led by four at archrival Virginia late before failing to score in the final 3:14 of a 54-52 defeat.

"We are too good of a basketball team. We have too much experience on this team," said Tech's Storm Murphy, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. "We need to continue to have faith and confidence."

Winning games by an average margin of 26.8 points and losing by an average of 7.3, Tech has struggled to put teams away, an odd characteristic with so many veterans in the starting lineup, including top scorer Keve Aluma (15.7 points per game).

Notre Dame has had no such problem, riding a six-game winning streak and playing its best basketball of the season as conference play heats up. Its first three ACC wins came by a combined 10 points. The Fighting Irish also found a way to defeat 10th-ranked Kentucky of the SEC, 66-62 on Dec. 11.

Dane Goodwin leads the Irish in scoring (15.4 points per game) and 3-point shooting (45.7 percent), playing alongside Blake Wesley (14.7 points per game) in the backcourt.

In Wednesday's 72-56 win over Clemson, Goodwin scored a team-high 21 points and the Irish held one of the nation's best 3-point-shooting teams to 6-of-32 accuracy (18.8%) from beyond the arc.

"We did a good job in our zone in the first half, playing it wide and taking away shooters," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

Brey will ask for more of the same on Saturday.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
63
70
Virginia Tech Hokies

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Recap JAN 10TH 2021

Tenth-ranked Virginia Tech used a pair of second-half spurts to pull away from Notre Dame on Tuesday and score an 81-66 win in Blacksburg, Va., in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. paced the balanced Hokies (12-1, 1-0) with 21 points and seven rebounds, winning the battle inside with Fighting Irish big man John Mooney. Entering the game averaging nearly 12.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, Mooney took just four shots in 26 minutes, finishing with nine points and 10 boards.

Virginia Tech guards Ahmed Hill and Nickeil Alexander-Walker each hit 7 of 8 field goals for 17 points apiece, while Ty Outlaw came off the bench to hit 4 of 7 3-point attempts en route to 14 points. The Hokies shot 60 percent from the field and went 11 of 18 (61.1 percent) from the 3-point line.

T.J. Gibbs led Notre Dame (10-4, 0-1) with 19 points and four assists, while D.J. Harvey scored 16 points. Reserve freshman Nate Laszewski added 14.

Tech started the second half with three straight 3-point plays in the first 1:41, sending Notre Dame shot blocker Juwan Durham to the bench with four fouls in the process. The Irish pulled within 43-42 at 14:47, but Hill and Alexander-Walker combined for 14 straight Hokies points to up the lead to 10 at 57-47 with 9:22 to play.

The Hokies blew it open late with 11 consecutive points. Outlaw canned a 3-pointer with 5:14 left for a 71-53 advantage.

The teams battled through the first eight minutes on even terms before the Hokies made the first hit. Beginning with a short jumper by Blackshear, they went on a 15-2 run that lasted more than six minutes. A layup by Alexander-Walker at the 5:26 mark gave them a 28-15 lead.

The Fighting Irish erased almost all of the lead after that, however, using the 3-point shot to gain traction. Following a mid-range shot by Blackshear that made it 30-18, Notre Dame rattled off 10 consecutive points to close out the half.

Laszewski and Gibbs each drained 3s, and Laszewski capped the run with a jumper 32 seconds before intermission to cut the Virginia Tech lead to 30-28 at halftime.

--Field Level Media

 

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