Saturday, March 03, 2018 1:00 am
Notre Dame at No. 1 Virginia
When: 4 p.m. today
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.
Records: Notre Dame (18-12, 8-9 ACC), No. 1 Virginia (27-2, 16-1)
TV: ESPN Full Court, ACC Network
Outlook: The Irish head into their final regular-season game coming off an easy 73-56 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday that kept the Panthers winless in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was Notre Dame's fifth win in seven games after a seven-game losing streak. Preseason ACC Player of the Year Bonzie Colson returned to the lineup and scored 12 points and had nine rebounds in his first game since Dec. 30. ... Guard T.J. Gibbs scored 14 points against the Panthers, his career-best 18th straight game in double figures. ... Virginia has already clinched the outright regular-season ACC title, while the Irish will be either the No. 9 or No. 10 seed in the conference tournament, depending on outcomes this weekend. ... A win against Virginia would give Mike Brey his 500th career victory, making him the 23rd active Division I coach to reach that mark. Today will also be Brey's 600th game at Notre Dame. ... Notre Dame won its most recent match with the Cavaliers, a 71-58 victory in the ACC Tournament last season after 10 straight losses in the series. ... Brey owns two victories over No. 1 teams at Notre Dame, including a win over top-ranked North Carolina in 2016. ... The Cavaliers have won four games in a row since an upset loss to Virginia Tech on Feb. 10. In their most recent game Thursday, the Cavaliers trailed Louisville by four with five seconds left but pulled out a victory on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from De'Andre Hunter. ... Virginia is the best defensive team in the country by several metrics. It holds opponents to a nation-low 52.6 points per game, nearly five points better than the No. 2 team (Cincinnati) in that category. ... Up next, the Irish open the ACC Tournament either Tuesday (if they get the 10th seed) or Wednesday (if they get the ninth seed).
– Dylan Sinn, Journal Gazette