The First Four action of the NCAA Tournament continues with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-10) battling the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-13) in a clash between 11-seeds. Notre Dame finished tied for second in the ACC, and Rutgers ended the regular season in a tie for fourth place in the Big Ten.
Wednesday’s tip-off is at 9:10 p.m. EST inside UD Arena in Dayton, OH. The game will be televised on TruTV. Notre Dame is a 1-point favorite, and the over-under is at 132.0 points.
What to Know – #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame is back in the Big Dance for the first time since 2017 and the 37th time in school history. The Fighting Irish were outed in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament by Virginia Tech. Notre Dame is ranked 52nd in the KenPom and 53rd in the NCAA NET rankings.
The Fighting Irish average 72.5 points per game on offense, thanks to 46.2% shooting from the field and 38.0% shooting from the arc. Notre Dame’s defense holds opponents to 66.8 points per game, 43.1% shooting from the floor, and 31.9% from deep.
Three Notre Dame starters averaged in double-figures during the regular season, led by Blake Wesley, scoring 14.6 points per game. Dane Goodwin (13.9 ppg) is a threat from the outside, hitting 44.8% of his attempts from the 3-point line. Paul Atkinson Jr. rounded out the trio chipping in 12.3 points.
Notre Dame is 17-15 against the spread and 1-4 ATS playing at a neutral location. The Fighting Irish are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 games against Rutgers.
What to Know – #11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
After not appearing in the NCAA Tournament for over 30 years, the Scarlet Knights are back in the Big Dance for the second year in a row. The appearance is the eighth trip to the tournament in school history. Rutgers is ranked 75th in the KenPom and 77th in the NET rankings.
Rutgers scores 67.9 points per game while hitting 44.3% of its shots from the floor and 33.6% of its shots from the 3-point line. On defense, the Scarlet Knights surrender 65.8 points per game, 41.4% shooting from the field, and 34.0% from three.
The offense runs through the play of Ron Harper Jr. The son of 5x NBA Champion Ron Harper, the guard averages 15.6 points per game. Geo Baker (12.4 ppg) and Clifford Omoruyi (11.8 ppg) add additional scoring options for the Scarlet Knights offense.
The Scarlet Knights were 14-17 ATS during the regular season and 0-1 on a neutral floor. Rutgers is 4-1 ATS over its previous five contests against the ACC.
The Pick is In
The Scarlet Knights have the edge defensively along with one of the best players on the offensive side of the ball in college hoops. Rutgers is going to give the Fighting Irish fits and move on to the field of 64 and challange the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Betting Pick: Rutgers Scarlet Knights +1