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Notre Dame

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    Brian VanGorder walks down a hallway of the Guglielmino Athletic Complex, unaware anyone else is nearby.“Let’s get to work,” he says to the walls. “We’ve got a game to play.
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Notre Dame at North Carolina

Records: Notre Dame (15-15, 6-11 ACC), No. 19 North Carolina (22-7, 12-4)

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV: ESPN

Radio: 1480 AM, 106.7 FM

Notre Dame leaders: Eric Atkins (13.7 ppg), Garrick Sherman (7.3 rpg), Atkins (4.8 apg)

North Carolina leaders: Marcus Paige (17.2 ppg), James McAdoo (6.8 rpg), Paige (4.5 apg)

Key matchup: Two of the ACC’s top guards square off again as the Irish and Tar Heels meet in Notre Dame’s regular-season finale. North Carolina’s Paige, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound sophomore, got the best of Notre Dame’s Atkins, a 6-2, 182-pound senior, in the Tar Heel’s 73-62 win Feb. 8. Paige had 16 points, six assists and two turnovers to Atkins’ 12 points, five assists and three turnovers. Atkins and Paige are in the top 15 in scoring in the ACC with Paige tied at No. 4 and Atkins No. 14, and they are in the top five in assists with Atkins at No. 3 and Paige tied for No. 5.

The skinny: Irish guard Pat Connaughton, who sprained his ankle in Saturday’s 85-81 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, is expected to play today. He suffered the injury midway through the second half but returned to finish the game. … Notre Dame has matched the most losses in a season during coach Mike Brey’s 14 years with the program. … The Tar Heels have won their last 11 games, while the Irish have lost three of their last four. … North Carolina leads the series 17-4, and Notre Dame is 0-2 at Chapel Hill.

– Tony Krausz, The Journal Gazette

tkrausz@jg.net

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