ACC Tournament: Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech Prediction
Notre Dame vs Georgia Tech Preview
No. 15 seed Notre Dame takes on the 10th seed Georgia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday–both teams will need a set of mini-miracles if they hope to go dancing.
The Irish come in colder than winter in Indiana, losers of seven straight games including the regular season finale loss to Pittsburgh (which helped the Panthers snap a 13-game losing skid). The lone bright spot during their (13-18, 3-15) campaign is junior forward John Mooney who is one of two players this season to have scored 430+ points, grabbed 330+ rebounds, connected on 30+ three-point field goals and have 40+ assists (the other SDSU’s Mike Daum). Mooney was named to All-ACC Third Team and arguably could have been higher in a stacked ACC full of NBA talent.
Georgia Tech has won two games in a row–an overtime thriller against Boston College and arguably their best win of the season over NC State. Heading into the conference tournament, the Yellow Jackets are hot–as hot as they could be with a (14-17, 6-12) record.
Both teams play a very thin rotation–the Irish have been bit by the injury bug time and time again this season and play only seven guys in their rotation. That will be tested as one of the main players in Mike Brey‘s rotation, DJ Harvey, is doubtful to play on Tuesday after he tweaked a hamstring last week.
Georgia Tech played five players 36+ minutes in their win over NC State to close out the regular season and that could be the case again if they are in a battle with Notre Dame.
Sophomore Jose Alvarado is head coach Josh Pastner‘s best player and leading scorer (12.8 ppg) but he has struggled to improve off a solid freshman season. He seemingly plateaued in his play, but over his last six games he has averaged 20.1 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The winner gets a second round matchup against Louisville who comfortably beat both of these teams in the regular season.
LINE: -2 Notre Dame
Dan’s Bet: +2 Georgia Tech
I don’t typically like to pick a Josh Pastner-coached team to pull the upset, ever. But the Yellow Jackets are coming into this game hot and with confidence. Notre Dame is entering the ACC Tournament the exact opposite: cold, injured and losers of seven straight. I expect John Mooney to go off for ND, but there really is no one else on that team who can step up and carry them to the second round.
Score Prediction: Georgia Tech 68 Notre Dame 65