Alabama vs Notre Dame Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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Alabama vs Notre Dame Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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Alabama vs Notre Dame Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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Alabama vs Notre Dame prediction: NCAA Tournament First Round pick and college basketball game preview.


Alabama vs Notre Dame Game Preview, NCAA Tournament First Round How To Watch

Date: Friday, March 18
Game Time: 4:15 pm
Venue: Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
How To Watch: TNT
Records: Alabama (6 seed, 19-13)
Notre Dame (11 seed, 23-10)
Region: West

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Why Notre Dame Will Win

Notre Dame is certainly tournament tested now after surviving a wild and fantastic double-overtime win over Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights hit the Irish with big shot after big shot, but there was never any quit even though the outside shooting was off, the rebounding was shaky, and the free throws weren’t dropping.

The Irish are usually dominant from the outside – at least with bulk threes – and Alabama is just okay at guarding the perimeter. Most importantly in this, the Notre Dame offense is air tight with the ball – there just aren’t enough turnovers to matter.

The Irish just played a double OT game and turned it over five times.

They can play defense, but they’ll have no problems getting into a back-and-forth offensive fight again.

However …

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Why Alabama Will Win

You do NOT want to get into a firefight with the Alabama offense.

Defense is occasionally optional for the Tide, and they’re on a three-game losing streak after getting bounced out of the SEC Tournament right away, but they’ve had a week off.

Here come the fresh legs for a team that loves to get on the move.

It might not be all that accurate from the outside, but it’ll take a ton of threes, make enough to matter, and come up with the offensive rebound when needed to make up for the misfires.

Notre Dame is great on the boards, but it’s going against one of the best teams in the nation on the offensive glass. Bama comes up with 14 per game, and the Irish just allowed Rutgers to rip away 13.

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Alabama vs Notre Dame: What’s Going To Happen

It might be easy to assume the key will be Notre Dame’s ability to contain DeVonta Smith, but really it’s whether or not Najee Harris can be stopped on first downs, and …

Sorry. I know, weak, but couldn’t resist.

Don’t automatically fall for the idea that Alabama is down after a rough finishing kick to the season. It played tough battle after tough battle, it has a high-energy style, and everything just sort of stopped for this bunch, especially defensively.

It played like a team that desperately needed a week off to recharge, and it just got it.

Alabama can win when it’s not shooting well. It can win when it’s not hitting a lot of threes, and it can even win when the defense is giving up too many easy points. What it can’t do is win when the other side is making a ton of free throws.

It’s 11-1 when teams make 13 or fewer free throws, and it’s 8-12 when the other side hits more. That goes hand in hand with allowing free throw attempts – they take the the Tide out of their rhythm.

Notre Dame has made more than 13 free throws just nine times. This is a three point shooting team that’s not going get enough big plays inside.

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Alabama vs Notre Dame Prediction: NCAA Tournament First Round, Lines

Prediction: Alabama 80, Notre Dame 74
Line: Alabama -4, o/u: 152
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
CFN Experts Picks Alabama vs Notre Dame

Alabama vs Notre Dame Must See Rating: 4

5: Sunshine Protection Act
1: Having to change every digital clock that didn’t get the memo this fall

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