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Game Preview: Virginia Basketball at Notre Dame

The Cavaliers take on the Irish in a key road ACC contest

Game Details

Who: Virginia Cavaliers (12-8, 6-4 ACC) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-6, 6-2 ACC)

When: Saturday, January 29th at 6pm

Where: Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Indiana

How to watch: ACC Network

All-time series: Virginia leads 16-2

Last meeting: Virginia defeated Notre Dame 80-68 on January 13th, 2021 in Charlottesville. 

By the Numbers

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

VirginiaBy the NumbersNotre Dame

62.5

Points Per Game

71.7

59.4

Opponent PPG

66.5

45.0%

Field Goal %

45.6%

41.8%

Opponent FG %

43.9%

33.2%

Three-Point FG %

37.6%

35.3%

Opponent 3PT FG %

35.2%

-10

Rebounding Margin

+13

+25

Turnover Margin

+10

93rd

NET Ranking

72nd

105th

RPI

67th

Opponent Breakdown: Notre Dame

Notable results: St. Mary's (62-59 L), Texas A&M (73-67 L), Illinois (82-72 L), Kentucky (66-62 W), Indiana (64-56 L), North Carolina (78-73 W), Clemson (72-56 W), Virginia Tech (79-73 L), NC State (73-65 W)

Prentiss Hubb and Nate Laszewski were Notre Dame's leading scorers last season and those two players figured to do so again as they both returned this season. Instead, the emergence of Dane Goodwin and Blake Wesley this season as the team's leading scorers has propelled the Fighting Irish to a 6-2 start to ACC play, tied for the second-best record in the conference. The Irish have picked up some quality wins over Kentucky, North Carolina, and Louisville and find themselves right on the bubble of most March Madness bracketology projections with ten games left in the regular season.  

Mike Brey uses just a seven-man rotation, but those seven players are as talented as any top seven in the ACC. Dane Goodwin leads the team with 15.3 points per game and is the ACC's leader in three-point shooting at 48.9% (44 makes on 90 attempts). Notre Dame actually has two of the top five three-point shooters in the ACC, as Nate Laszewski is fourth in the conference at 46.5% from three. Blake Wesley is right behind Goodwin at 15.0 points per game and the Irish also get solid contributions from Paul Atkinson Jr, Cormac Ryan, Trey Wertz and the aforementioned Prentiss Hubb. 

What's at Stake

Winning streaks

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Virginia has alternated wins and losses in each of its last seven games. The pattern has been that the Cavaliers have delivered some of their strongest performances coming off of losses, as they did when they defeated Louisville by 12 just 48 hours after suffering a 14-point loss at NC State. Now, UVA needs to figure out how to play well in consecutive games, but the Hoos will have to do that on the road against a Notre Dame team currently riding a three-game winning streak. 

Perfection at Purcell Pavilion

Virginia has dominated the all-time series between these two teams and currently holds a 16-2 advantage over Notre Dame. The Cavaliers are notably 6-0 against the Fighting Irish in games played at Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion. However, the Fighting Irish own a perfect 8-0 record in home games this season. One of those undefeated streaks will come to an end on Saturday. 

Opportunity for an important win for UVA

UVA has gone 0-2 in games against the six teams currently ranked above them in the ACC standings (Wake Forest and North Carolina). Virginia's final ten games of the season include six games against those top six teams in the ACC and that stretch begins with this game at Notre Dame. If the Hoos have any hopes of a successful stretch to end the regular season, it likely has to begin with a victory at Notre Dame on Saturday. 


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