Rutgers vs. Notre Dame Pick
The Scarlet Knights know that they can get their name in the hat for the NIT if they can pull off the upset in this game, but that really isn’t all that likely. There’s a big difference between beating up the DePaul Blue Demons and knocking off a team like Notre Dame here in the second round of the Big East Tournament. Last night was a good one for Head Coach Mike Rice’s team, though. F
Wally Judge, a man who averaged just 7.2 points and 5.6 boards per game on the season, had a huge night, scoring 20 and pulling down 10 boards. G Myles Mack scored 19, while G Jerome Seagears had 15 points and seven rebounds. Seagears is another one of these men who sort of came out of nowhere to score a ton. He now has three straight double digit scoring efforts after averaging less than six points per game over the course of the first 27 games of the season.
Notre Dame really isn’t playing for all that much, save for seeding in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Irish are dancing, and they know it, and they’ll be probably somewhere between a 4 and an 8 when push comes to shove. Obviously, the higher you end up, the more time you have until you have to play a top seed, but it doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of difference. What is important for the Fighting Irish is reestablishing an identity offensively. This is a team that routinely was good for 70+ points early in the season, but over the course of the last six games, when the team is just 3-3 SU and ATS, it is averaging just 59.0 points per game. F Jack Cooley is the man that really needs to step it up in this one, because there isn’t a player on the other side of the court that is going to keep up with him when he is doing his thing in the paint.
For as much as we know that Notre Dame is going to win this game, we hate laying points here at Madison Square Garden in this tournament. Rutgers has four covers in a row, and it hasn’t been beaten by more than eight points in a game since February 6th. That’s a good omen for this one. Take the points. Notre Dame 63 – Rutgers 61