The No.23 Virginia Cavaliers will look to bounce back against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in their ACC season opener on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers fell seven spots in the latest AP Top 25 poll after their loss to the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday.
Fixture: Virginia Cavaliers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 30th, 2020, 6 PM ET
Venue: Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame, Indiana
Virginia Cavaliers Preview
In the 75-98 loss against the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs on Saturday, the Virginia Cavaliers almost gave up 100 points for the first time since 2010.
The Cavaliers allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 50% from three, where they converted on 10.
One of Virginia's problems against Gonzaga was not their defense but, in fact, their lackadaisical offense.
The Cavaliers had 15 total turnovers, nine of which came in the first half. They were outscored 19-3 on points off turnovers before halftime.
Here is what Virginia's coach, Tony Bennett, had to say about his team's turnovers:
"They're the best we've played by far and appear to be well-deserving of that ranking, but if you don't care of the ball ... it's hard enough to stop them."
The Virginia Cavaliers will need to learn from the mistakes they made in their loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs and take care of the ball to come away with a win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Key Player - Kihei Clark
Kihei Clark is the key player for the Virginia Cavaliers. In the game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the junior guard racked up 19 points, and 4 assists. However, he will need to be smarter in his decision-making, as he had a team-high six turnovers.
If the 5'9 crafty point guard can take care of the ball while still scoring at a proficient rate, then the Cavaliers will have no issue against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Virginia Cavaliers Spartans Predicted Lineup
F Sam Hauser, F Jay Huff, G Kihei Clark, G Tomas Woldentensae, G Reece Beekman
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Preview
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off a win to the Bellarmine Knight, 81-70.
Although they won their previous game, the Fighting Irish are having a disappointing season, sitting at 3-4 on the year.
Notre Dame has been unable to beat a team with a winning record. Against teams with a winning record, they are shooting just 43% from the field compared to 50% against teams with losing records.
To earn a victory over the Virginia Cavaliers, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will need to shoot the ball with at least a 50% conversion rate.
Key Player - Dane Goodwin
Dane Goodwin is the key player for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The junior guard scored a career-high 27 points in the previous game against the Bellarmine Knights.
Goodwin will need to continue to play at an all-time level to give the Fighting Irish a chance against the Virginia Cavaliers.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Predicted Lineup
F Nate Laszewski, G Prentiss Hubb, G Dane Goodwin, G Cormac Ryan, G Trey Werts
Virginia vs Notre Dame Prediction
The Virginia Cavaliers will likely take better care of the ball against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and come away with a win in their ACC opener. Expect the game to be slow-paced and low-scoring, which fits into the Cavaliers' game plan.
Where to watch Virginia vs Notre Dame
The game will be broadcasted live on the ACC Network.Published 29 Dec 2020, 07:31 IST