NCAA Picks and Tips: Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Georgetown Hoyas
Sunday, February 26, 2012
by Mike Stewart
Notre Dame is in third place, one game ahead of the Hoyas, who are tied with South Florida for fourth. The Fighting Irish had their nine-game Big East winning streak broken Saturday at St. John's.
The Hoyas bounced back nicely for a rout over Villanova after a sketchy showing in losing at Seton Hall. This will be the final home game for Georgetown.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (20-9): The Irish will try to rebound offensively against a team noted for its shutdown defense. Notre Dame made only 4 of 31 3-pointers, a season-low 12.9 percent, in Saturday’s 61-58 loss to St. John’s. Jack Cooley (12.4 points) has five double-doubles in his last six games and has a team-leading 11. Scott Martin (9.4 points) has scored in double figures two straight games and his 18 against St. John’s were a season-high against conference opposition. Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins both average 12.7 points. Tom Knight had a career-high six rebounds against the Red Storm.
Georgetown Hoyas (21-6): Otto Porter (8.8 points) showed no lingering effects after catching an elbow in the mouth in the first minute of the Villanova game. Porter came back to score 15 points and six rebounds in his second career start. He started ahead of Markel Starks, who did not play, although coach John Thompson III gave no reason for the lineup change. The team is built on defense, but does boast a balanced offensive attack: Jason Clark (14.5 points), Hollis Thompson (13.1 points) and Porter are all shooting 50 percent from the field.
1. Notre Dame had only seven turnovers versus St. John’s, the 13th time this season they’ve committed fewer than 10.
2. Notre Dame is 9-1 when starting the lineup of Atkins, Pat Connaughton, Cooley, Grant and Martin.
3. Georgetown has made 158 3-pointers, while Notre Dame has hit 194.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Hoyas 64, Fighting Irish 55.
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