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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at Virginia

January 31, 2024
2,919

Notre Dame (7-13, 2-7) at Virginia (15-5, 6-3) 


Date: January 31st

Time: 7:00 PM ET 

Where: John Paul Jones Arena | Charlottesville, Va.

TV: ESPN2 | Doug Sherman and Cory Alexander 

Line: Virginia -13.5

O/U: 113.5

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS 

- Virginia leads the all-time series 4-17

- The Irish did win 76-54 earlier this season in South Bend

- Notre Dame has never won at Virginia

- Markus Burton has scored in double figures in 13 straight games 

- Only one opponent has scored over 70 points against Notre Dame since December 16th

- ESPN’s Matchup Predictor: 93.0% in favor of Virginia


PROJECTED STARTERS

NOTRE DAME

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Markus Burton 16.0 3.3 4.1
JR Konieczny 9.9 5.8 0.7
Logan Imes 2.0 1.9 1.1
Tae Davis 8.1 5.4 0.8
Kebba Njie 4.3 6.0 0.7

VIRGINIA

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Reece Beekman 12.9 3.2 6.2
Isaac McKneely 11.6 3.0 1.6
Ryan Dunn 10.2 7.3 0.9
Andrew Rohde 5.3 2.3 3.0
Jordan Minor 4.2 2.7 0.3


TEAM STATS

STAT NOTRE DAME VIRGINIA
Scoring Offense 62.5 65.4
Scoring Defense 65.3 57.7
FG% 39.9% 44.5%
Rebounds 37.4 33.0
Assists 9.8 15.7
Blocks 2.8 4.9
Steals 5.8 8.4
Turnovers  13.7 8.7

 

THOUGHTS

Notre Dame has never won at Virginia, but the Irish have never swept the season series with the Cavaliers and both will be on the table on Wednesday night. Micah Shrewsberry dominated Virginia in December by shooting 51 percent from the field and hitting 11 three-pointers in a surprising 76-54 win where Notre Dame led by as many as 28. 

The Irish couldn’t capitalize on that momentum as Notre Dame has won just one game since and the offense has struggled greatly at points. 

Vegas has the point total over/under set at 115.5, which probably says all one needs to know about what kind of game Wednesday will be, given the top two scoring defenses will face off. Virginia entered the game giving up just 57.7 ppg while the Irish only 65.3 ppg. 

In the first meeting, Notre Dame not only found its offense, but it dominated Virginia on the glass winning the boards 40-27. There’s no secret Notre Dame needs to find some of that offensive magic that has left the program in January, but winning the rebound battle will be another key for this clash. The Irish were +13 on the defensive glass, which limited second-chance buckets and in close games, every possession matters as Notre Dame found out. 

Notre Dame also did a decent job on controlling Virginia point guard Reece Beekman despite 15 points - two points over his season average. Beekman was just 5-for-15 from the floor, 0-for-4 from three and committed five turnovers on the day. If the Irish can frustrate him again, Notre Dame should have a chance as Beekman is what makes Virginia’s limited offense go. 

For the Irish on offense, it just comes down to helping Markus Burton, but he also has to eliminate turnovers and late game turnovers. In the last four games (all losses), Burton has recorded 24 turnovers, which is an unacceptable number, even for a true freshman with the team on his back. 

Classmate Braeden Shrewsberry has found consistency over the last few weeks as he’s scored in double figures in five of the last six games. He’s averaging 13.5 ppg during those games and that includes 19 made threes. The Irish will need another big effort from Shrewsberry and likely someone else to leave Charlottesville with a win. 

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