Notre Dame vs Clemson Preview and Prediction
Notre Dame vs Clemson Preview
The Clemson Tigers have never beaten Notre Dame in their program’s history. But this isn’t the usual Clemson basketball team, either. The Fighting Irish have only made one trip to Clemson out of the five contests. A 60-58 Tiger loss in 2015. That was the closest Clemson has ever been to tasting victory over Notre Dame.
Today could provide a different story.
Despite showing grit, the Tigers lost their last game to North Carolina 87-79–they did not come back from an 18-point deficit, but there are no moral victories in a conference loss.
Clemson coach Brad Brownell said he did not see any silver linings with the comeback, only the inability to take care of business.
“Yeah, I don’t know if we’re at that point where we need to be like, looking for all those types of things,” Brownell said. “You just go out and play. We’ve won enough games (this season) that we know we’re a good team and we have to play really well to beat a team like North Carolina at North Carolina.
“That’s just the way it is … at the onset, we didn’t do anything to set a tone like we were a really good team coming in here to win. We just played the game. And that’s disappointing.”
Clemson plays Notre Dame (13-6, 3-3) in a game between two frustrated teams. The Fighting Irish, who have lost three consecutive games, fell short in an 82-78 loss in double-overtime against Louisville in South Bend, Ind., on Tuesday.
In his first game back since missing three games because of an ankle injury, senior guard Matt Farrell scored a team-high 23 points. Senior forward Martinas Geben had a career-high 22 points and 17 rebounds. Sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs finished with 12 points.
Farrell made only 2 of 14 shots from the field in the second half. He also missed his two 3-point shots after halftime.
“(Louisville’s) size really bothered him, and in all honesty, fatigue got to him,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “It’s not like we can take him out and rest him. I was asking him at every timeout, but he was really tired. He hadn’t played heavy minutes in a while.”
Clemson junior guard Marcquise Reed scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the comeback against North Carolina. Reed finished 7-for-14 shooting from the field and eclipsed 20 points for the fifth time this season.
The Fighting Irish have not been able to handle the loss of star forward Bonzie Colson, who broke his foot on Dec. 29th and is expected to miss a total of eight weeks of game action.
In addition to the loss of Colson, Notre Dame will be without freshman D.J. Harvey, who has started the last five games–he will be sidelined with a bone bruised in his left knee.
The senior class of Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell, Martinas Geben, Matt Gregory and Austin Torres (graduate student) is three wins away from becoming the all-time winningest senior class in Notre Dame basketball history. The 2016-17 and 2012-13 senior classes currently hold the record with 97 wins over a four-year span.
Tonight’s game will not help them reach that milestone. The Irish are dealing with too many injuries to beat an underrated Clemson team at home.
LINE: -6.5 Clemson
Clemson 71 Notre Dame 58