Notre Dame vs Rutgers: NCAA Tournament First Four prediction and college basketball game preview.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers Game Preview, NCAA Tournament First Four How To Watch
Date: Wednesday, March 16
Game Time: 9:10 pm
Venue: UD Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
How To Watch: truTV
Records: Notre Dame (11 seed, 22-10)
Rutgers (11 seed, 18-13)
Why Rutgers Will Win
The defense is the real deal.
Scoring might be optional for the Scarlet Knights, but they’re aggressive enough to do a nice job of forcing turnovers all while allowing just 66 points per game and allowing teams to hit just 41% of their shots.
They won’t shoot a whole lot of threes and they’re not going to get on the move enough, but they don’t turn it over a whole bunch and they’re guaranteed to give it away fewer than ten times.
Notre Dame just doesn’t do much defensively to take the ball away.
Rutgers is a team built to be a fly in the NCAA Tournament ointment, but …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
Rutgers doesn’t hit free throws.
It only made ten or more three times in the last seven games, and that’s mostly because it can’t put them down. It’ll get to the line, but it was the second-worst team in the Big Ten on the line. For a team that plays low scoring, tight games, that’s a big, big problem.
There’s no worrying about Scarlet Knight threes – there won’t be many – and there’s a chance the Irish can take control of the game fast. Slow and steady wins the race for Rutgers, but if Notre Dame makes a few early threes – it led the ACC making more than nine per game – there’s going to be a problem.
Combine that with the Irish’s ability to hit the free throws the Scarlet Knights won’t, and it’s built to pull out a low scoring game in the final few minutes.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers: What’s Going To Happen
Notre Dame is a wee bit older.
It’s not like overall post-season experience matters here – there isn’t any – but Notre Dame has star freshman guard Blake Wesley and all seniors among everyone who gets meaningful time.
This is a deep Rutgers team around four seniors, but again, it’s just a little bit younger overall … and it doesn’t hit free throws.
Notre Dame will three-and-free its way out of the kid’s table game in an intense, low scoring fight.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers: NCAA Tournament First Four Prediction, Lines
Notre Dame 67, Rutgers 64
Line: Notre Dame -1, o/u: 132
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
CFN Expert Pick: Notre Dame vs Rutgers
Notre Dame vs Rutgers Must See Rating: 4
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