Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-10 SU, 11-10-1 ATS) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (19-7 SU, 12-10 ATS), 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, February 27, 2010, Verizon Center, Washington, D.C. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Notre Dame +11/Georgetown -11
Despite being ranked in the top 15 in the country, Georgetown has not been a very consistent team this season. The Hoyas haven’t won three games in a row since January 3 and haven’t even been able to win three straight Big East games at all this season. But the Hoyas have showed up for their biggest games, earning wins over nationally ranked opponents Villanova, Duke, Pitt, UConn, Washington and Butler, and nearly getting additional victories over Syracuse and Villanova. But they have often played down to their competition, losing games to Rutgers, South Florida, Marquette and Old Dominion.
Notre Dame is a desperate teams coming off a huge impressive win over Pitt. The Irish must win this game and finish strong to have any chance at getting an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. But it will certainly be an extremely tough task.
Georgetown is coming off a 70-60 road win at Louisville on Tuesday that ended a two-game losing streak after the Hoyas lost consecutive games to Rutgers and Syracuse. As they have been all season long, Austin Freeman and Greg Monroe carried the Hoyas. Freeman scored 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 on 3-pointers. Monroe had 16 points and 14 rebounds, but he did miss 10 of his 17 shot attempts. The Hoyas shot 47 percent from the field and 8-for-16 from 3-point range. Louisville shot 44 percent from the field and 6-for-18 from 3-point range.
Notre Dame ended a three-game losing streak with a much-needed 68-53 home victory over Pitt on Wednesday without injured Irish star Luke Harangody. Four Irish players scored in double figures, led by 17 points from Tim Abromaitis. Ben Hansbrough scored 15 points, Tory Jackson had 14 points, and Tyrone Nash scored 13. Jackson and Abromaitis each shot 3-of-5 from 3-point range. As a team, the Irish shot 50 percent from the field and 10-for-18 on 3-pointers. They held Pitt to 42 percent shooting from the field and 4-for-18 from beyond the arc. The Irish held a 31-21 advantage on the boards. They only turned the ball over eight times but Pitt only committed four turnovers in the entire game.
Like Georgetown, Notre Dame hasn’t been consistent either. The Irish also have failed to win three straight Big East games at any point this season and haven’t won three in a row at all since December 30. They lost at home on December 12 to Loyola Marymount and failed to pick up a signature win during their weak non-conference schedule. Now, at 7-8 in conference play, they are forced to win out and win some games in the Big East tournament if they want to make the NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame is one of the best teams in the country in terms of taking care of the basketball, as the Irish are committing only 9.9 turnovers per game in conference play. But they also are only forcing 9.3 turnovers per game. Georgetown has a +1 turnover margin in conference play. Both teams are barely better than even in rebounding margin. Both teams are shooting 41 percent on 3-pointers in conference play. The Irish are allowing opponents to shoot 36 percent from 3-point range, while the Hoyas’ opponents are shooting 35 percent. The Hoyas are shooting 49 percent from the field and holding opponents to 43 percent, while the Irish are shooting 45 percent from the field and holding opponents to 44 percent. These teams are very similar in many statistical categories, but the difference could be whether or not the Irish can compensate for the injured Harangody, who likely won’t play in this game. They did it without him against Pitt, but it could be a different story on the road against a team that has a dominant big man in Monroe.
Notre Dame is 16-34-1 ATS in its last 51 games following an ATS win. Georgetown is 10-23 ATS in its last 33 Big East games and 7-24-1 ATS in its last 32 games following an ATS win. The favorite and the home team are both 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick: This is a real bad spot for ND. Look for the Hoyas to win BIG.