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Notre Dame Basketball

Hoops Preview: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 8 Louisville

March 4, 2017
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No. 19 Notre Dame (23-7, 12-5) at No. 8 Louisville (23-7, 11-6)


Date: March 4
Where: KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS – Ian Eagle and Clark Kellogg

Quick Facts

- Louisville holds a 20-15 edge in the all-time series between the two programs.
- Bonzie Colson has recorded seven games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.
- In the second half of ACC games, Matt Farrell has scored in double-digits eight times.
- Notre Dame’s six ACC wins in a row is a program best.
- The Irish beat the Cardinals 77-70 in the first meeting this season.

The Starters

Notre Dame
Matt Farrell: 14.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 5.4 apg
Steve Vasturia: 13.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 3.4 apg
Rex Pflueger: 4.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.8 apg
VJ Beachem: 15.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 0.8 apg
Bonzie Colson: 16.9 ppg, 10.6 rpg and 1.7 apg

Louisville
Quentin Snider: 12.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg and 4.0 apg
Donovan Mitchell: 15.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 2.7 apg
Anas Mahmoud: 5.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 0.9 apg
Deng Adel: 11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 2.1 apg
Ray Spalding: 5.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 0.8 apg

How They Matchup

(National Rank)
Scoring Offense: Louisville: 77.8 ppg (81) – Notre Dame: 79.0 ppg (58)
Scoring Defense: Louisville: 65.4 ppg (39) – Notre Dame: 69.2 ppg (97)
Rebound Margin: Louisville: 5.5 (35) – Notre Dame: -1.0 (237)
Field-Goal Percentage: Louisville: 45.6% (111) – Notre Dame: 46.3% (83)
Three-Point Percentage: Louisville: 36.1% (131) – Notre Dame: 39.3% (30)
Three-Pointers Made: Louisville: 7.2 (196) – Notre Dame: 9.6 (19)
Free-Throw Percentage: Louisville: 76.7% (32) – Notre Dame: 81% (1)

Here we go. Notre Dame will travel to Louisville for a huge game on Saturday afternoon. The Irish are in a position to finish the day tied for first-place in the ACC or could finish in fifth-place. Crazy.

The Irish will need to figure out a way to rebound the basketball today. Brey said they would need Martinas Geben down the road and could that be on Saturday? Notre Dame creates mismatches on offense with its small lineup, but against a team like Louisville, it’s a huge risk as the Cardinals could get easy second-chance points.

Outside of rebounding, the game will rest on the shoulders of Matt Farrell. Can the junior point guard handle the full-court press in a ruckus environment? Turnovers have been the Achilles heel of Farrell at times this year, and Notre Dame can’t afford to give up multiple mini-runs off turnovers on the road.

It will also be interesting to see if Brey busts out his 2-3 zone against the Cardinals. Louisville shoots the three at a decent clip, but it could help mask the Cardinals advantage athletic advantage at times. It might not help with rebounding, but if Louisville gets on a roll offensively, the Irish could likely turn to it.

All in all, Notre Dame is an experienced team and the moment shouldn't be too big for them. VJ Beachem is playing at a high level and if he can get over 20 points on Saturday, I feel the Irish will pull this one out.
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Hoops Preview: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 8 Louisville

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