No. 5 Notre Dame vs No. 12 Princeton Preview
Where: KeyBank Center – Buffalo, New York
When: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 12:15 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Prediction: Princeton Tigers (+7)
College Basketball News and Previews
- 2017 NCAA March Madness Final Four Preview
- Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Preview
- North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Oregon Ducks Preview
Betting on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7)
It’s been another successful season for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish went 25-9, including 8-2 in their final 10 games as they made their second run to the ACC tournament final in three years. Unfortunately, they fell to Duke, 75-69.
Bonzie Colson had a monstrous performance in the final with 29 points and 9 rebounds. The Irish’s 6-5 “big man” averaged a double-double this season with 17.5 points and 10.2 rebounds (tops in the ACC) and has been a key cog in another highly-efficient Notre Dame offense that’s ranked 16th by KenPom.
The Big 4 of Colson, V.J. Beachem, Matt Farrell and Steve Vasturia is a very experienced one, having been a part of back-to-back runs to the Elite Eight. With all those shooters surrounding Colson, who can also stroke it from deep, it’s just a nightmare to defend these Irish. They have the second-lowest turnover rate in the country, and are the best in terms of free-throw shooting. In short, they’re not going to beat themselves.
The Irish’s limitations defensively and on the boards are well-known given their lack of size, but their rebounding problems are unlikely to be quite as pronounced as they face a similarly small Princeton team that also has trouble cleaning the glass.
Betting on the Princeton Tigers (+7)
Princeton was one of just two teams in the entire country to go undefeated in conference play as the Tigers ran through the Ivy League with a 14-0 record. They ended the season on a 19-game winning streak, and also won the inaugural Ivy League conference tournament. They’ve gone an impressive 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games.
Minus a versatile big man like Colson, Princeton is almost a mirror image of Notre Dame in that it plays a slow, methodical game, doesn’t turn the ball over, and is heavily reliant of 3-pointers. The Tigers got 41 percent of their points from 3-pointers, the 5th-most in all of Division I, and shot the 3 at an impressive 38 percent. They also defended the 3-point line very well, allowing fewer than 20 attempts per game.
In a game that’ll likely come down to who can make the most 3s, the math says the Tigers have a fairly decent chance at of pulling off another famous 5-12 upset. Devin Cannady and Steven Cook are both knockdown shooters who both hit 42 percent of their 3s and are capable of getting very hot. But if their shots aren’t falling, they don’t have an individual like Colson who can get buckets inside.
Princeton goes shot for shot with Notre Dame, and manages to cover the spread (+7).
Create a betting account now and cash in on all the awesome NCAA Tournament action with America’s top sportsbook.
2,489 total views, 1 views today