Offense meets defense when the No. 20 North Carolina Tar Heels (13-4, 2-2 ACC) travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish (13-4, 3-1 ACC). Action starts at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 13, 2018.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting Preview
In the Tar Heels last contest, they dismantled the Boston College Eagles, 96-66. Luke Maye was the top scorer from either team with 32 points on 13-for-20 shooting. North Carolina played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary offensive rebounding percentage of 60.5 (above their season average of 36.7) and a free throw rate of 0.115 (matching their season average). For those same stats, Boston College was 18.6 and 0.097, respectively.
The Fighting Irish are hoping for a better outcome after their 60-53 loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in their last game. Martinas Geben was Notre Dame’s high scorer with 16 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Georgia Tech held the Fighting Irish to an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.7 (below their season average of 29.8). Notre Dame, meanwhile, had a better free throw rate (0.119 vs. 0.085).
This showdown figures to be a shootout as two of the NCAA’s best offenses square off. Notre Dame currently ranks 23rd with 116.7 points per 100 possessions and North Carolina is 57th (113.3). Contrasting tempos will be on display in this meeting. The fast-breaking Tar Heels rank 48th in possessions per game, while the more half-court oriented Fighting Irish rank 310th.
Geben has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Notre Dame, averaging 10.2 rebounds and 9.0 points per game.
This is the first time these teams will clash this year. The Tar Heels won the only contest played against each other last season, 83-76. North Carolina had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (48.6 vs. 20.6). Notre Dame, on the other hand, did an excellent job of getting to and converting from the free throw line (17-20; 85.0 percent).
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Notre Dame, ATS Winner – Notre Dame, O/U – Under
- The Fighting Irish rank 56th in blocks per game (4.3) while the Tar Heels rank 152nd in blocks allowed per game (4.9).
- Notre Dame ranks 25th in steals allowed per game (5.1) while North Carolina ranks 80th (6.1).
- North Carolina ranks first in rebounds per game (44.6) while Notre Dame ranks 122nd (36.6).
- The Fighting Irish rank 140th in three pointers allowed per game (22.3) while the Tar Heels rank 258th (27.1).
- North Carolina ranks 20th in assists per game (17.4) while Notre Dame ranks 118th in assists allowed per game (13.3).
- The Fighting Irish’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 14.0, down from 14.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 76.8 points per game (6.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.8 points per game (1.5 below their season average).