BANKER (Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh)
Notre Dame has played a very tough schedule to this point and has lost many close games as well. They come into this game with a 6-5 record, but their 5 losses have come against St Mary’s, Illinois, Texas AM, Indiana, and a bad loss to Boston College. They also notched a very impressive win against Kentucky. This is a game between 2 teams with very contrasting styles.
Notre dame faces PITT who has been one of the worst offensive teams in the ACC and has losses to The Citadel, UMBC, Monmouth, and a loss to Virginia where they led by 4 with 20 seconds left. Pittsburgh is 238th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, 303rd in effective field goal percentage, 295th in turnover percentage, 292nd in 2-point FG percentage, and 302nd in both 3-point percentage and FT% so it’s safe to say they are a very bad offensive team. Notre Dame on the other side is a very good offensive team as they are 29th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency and 57th in turnover percentage so they really do a good job of running good offense and taking care of the ball.
Notre dame will also have the 2 best players on the court in this game with freshman Blake Wesley and Dane Goodwin who just had one of his best games of the season in their last win over Texas AMCC. Pitt is coming off two very solid wins against St. John’s and Jacksonville so overall they have been playing better but, in those games, they only scored 59 and 64 points, so they have still struggled on offense. Notre Dame is a streaky team, but Pitt is much streakier, and I believe the outside shooting and experience from Notre dame will be too much for Pittsburgh to overcome in the end. Score Prediction: 72-64 Notre Dame
Houston is a team who has risen to the upper echelon of college basketball over the last few years and this year is no different. They are off to an 11-2 start with their only losses coming to Wisconsin and Alabama. Two very solid programs and both losses came by a combined 3 points. Houston is a team who is going to suffocate you on defense. Houston is one of the top defenses in the nation as they have held 10 of their 13 opponents under 61 points on the season.
Cincinnati is a team with a similar type of makeup but way worse offensively. Cincinnati for the most part has played bottom feeders and struggled mightily when they played power 5 opponents. Losing Marcus Sasser is a big loss for Houston, but I think their experience combined with their excellent defense will make up for it here. Score Prediction: 65-58 Houston.
Boise State is a team who has been very hot and cold so far. Boise State is off to a 9-4 start but has losses to teams like UC Irvine and Cal state Bakersfield. Boise State has gotten it together lately though as they have now reeled off 6 wins in a row against teams including Tulsa, Santa Clara, and Washington state. In their last 6 wins, none of their opponents have scored more than 60 points so they have been stout defensively over the last month.
They face a Fresno state team who plays a similar style as Boise State as they typically very slow and win with their defense. Fresno state is coming off one of their best wins of the season as they beat a solid Weber state team by 26 in a blowout. Overall, I think Boise State has played the tougher schedule and has more overall talent which should lead them to a win at home in this contest. Score Prediction: 72-62 Boise State.