Notre Dame Vs Kentucky Elite 8 Point Spread & ATS PickJosh Bailey
The 3rd-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish were feeling pretty good after their win over Wichita State last night. That is until the top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats demolished WVU and now the Fighting Irish are 11-point underdogs against the Wildcats in their Elite Eight tilt on Friday.
A Closer Look At The Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Kentucky Wildcats Elite Eight Point Spread & My Against The Spread Pick
Matchup: (3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs (1) Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Mar. 28, 2015
Start Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Stadium: Quicken Loans Arena
TV Info: TBS
Stream: March Madness Live
Radio: Notre Dame Vs Kentucky
Point Spread: Wildcats -11
Game Total: 137
Notre Dame Will Cover the 11-point Spread If
The Irish get enough open looks.
Kentucky’s defense is suffocating. Statistically, it’s the best defense in all of college basketball. Notre Dame might be the team to finally break down Kentucky’s defense, though. The reason why Notre Dame could possibly do that is because the Irish is the best shooting team left in the NCAA Tournament.
No other team in the tournament can shoot from the field better than the Irish. No other team in the tournament can have success from behind the arc like the Irish. Wichita State took a one-point lead against the Irish in Notre Dame’s Sweet 16 game. In what felt like the blink of an eye, Notre Dame drained three-pointer after three-pointer until they had built up a 14 point lead. The game ended up Notre Dame 81 and Wichita State 70. That’s what happens when you shoot over 55% from the field and over 47% from three like what Notre Dame did versus Wichita State. In order to cover the spread against Kentucky, the Irish will have to work for open looks. If they get those open looks, it’s likely that they’ll make their shots.
— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) March 27, 2015
Notre Dame’s Elite 8 Projected Starting Lineup:
- F Zach Auguste, 6-10, Jr, 12.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg
- G Demetrius Jackson, 6-1, So, 12.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
- G Steve Vasturia, 6-5, So, 9.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
- G Jerian Grant, 6-5, Sr, 16.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg
- G Pat Connaughton, 6-5, Sr, 12.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg
- Coach: Mike Brey (15th season)
Kentucky Will Cover the 11-point Spread If
Kentucky doesn’t just control the paint, but keeps Notre Dame off balance through perimeter defense.
It’s unlikely that Notre Dame is going to have any success in the paint against Kentucky’s big men. Willie Cauley-Stein is 7 feet tall. Karl-Anthony Townes is 6’ 11” and Trey Lyles is 6’ 10”. Notre Dame’s tallest player, Zach Auguste, is 6’ 10”. What it means is that Notre Dame is going to game plan, like they do in almost every game, around guards Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. Both of those guys have the ability to hit three-pointers. Grant can drive to the basket and create his own shot or set up Connaughton and the other Irish three-pointers.
The onus on Saturday will be on the Harrison brothers and Kentucky’s other perimeter defenders to stop Connaughton and Grant. If Kentucky can’t guard the perimeter, they could end up losing this game outright even though they looked unbeatable in their 78 to 39 win over West Virginia in the Sweet 16. West Virginia doesn’t shoot the basketball nearly as good as Notre Dame does. This could be a tough game for Kentucky.
Kentucky's 39-point win over WVU tied for the largest ever margin in the Sweet 16. pic.twitter.com/pKZo8Fbun4
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 27, 2015
Kentucky Wildcats’ Elite 8Projected Starting Lineup:
- G Aaron Harrison, 6-6, So., 11.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
- G Andrew Harrison, 6-6, So., 9.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.7 apg
- F Trey Lyles, 6-10, Fr., 8.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg
- F Karl-Anthony Towns, 6-11, Fr., 9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg
- C Willie Cauley-Stein, 7-0, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
- Coach: John Calipari (sixth season)