NCAA Hoops Big East Picks: Georgetown Hoyas at #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Georgetown Hoyas at #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Monday, January 21, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – South Bend, Indiana
Opening Line: Notre Dame -6 1/2
Current Line: Notre Dame -6
Opening Total: 122 1/2
Current Total: 121 1/2
Opening Money Line: Notre Dame -255 / Georgetown +225
Current Money Line: Notre Dame -255 / Georgetown +225

Notre Dame is a 6 point favorite at home against Georgetown Monday.

Notre Dame is a 6 point favorite at home against Georgetown Monday.

The 12-4 Georgetown Hoyas travel to the 15-3 #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Monday in a key Big East contest. The Hoyas are tied for 6th in the Big East with Connecticut and Villanova with a 2-3 conference record. Notre Dame is 3-2 in conference and alone in fourth place.

Georgetown leads the series 15-13, but Notre Dame is 8-4 against Georgetown in South Bend. The Hoyas won the last meeting last season at home 59-41. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season unless they meet in the Big East or NCAA tournaments.

Georgetown started off the season 10-1 in non-conference play under coach John Thompson III. The only came to Indiana in overtime in a tournament in Brooklyn. The Hoyas have struggled so far in Big East play with losses at Marquette, and South Florida Saturday 61-58, and wins at St. Johns and at home against Providence. The Hoyas have wins over Duquesne, UCLA, Tennessee, and Texas. Georgetown had a game against Florida canceled because of bad weather that was supposed to be on an aircraft carrier. Georgetown is 5-7 ATS and the total is 4-5 this season.

Georgetown is outscoring teams 64-56 this season. The Hoyas are #11 in points allowed. The Hoyas are shooting 45.8% from the field including 33.3% from 3 point range. Georgetown makes 66.3% of their free throws. The Hoyas are averaging 33.1 rebounds per game and give up 28.5 per game. Georgetown opponents are shooting 38.5% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Hoyas are #31 in opponents’ field goal percentage. Georgetown averages 15 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.

Forward Otto Porter, Jr. averages 14.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. Forward Greg Whittington averages 12.1 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Whittington has missed the last 3 games due to being academically ineligible. He is listed as questionable for Monday’s game. Guard Markel Starks averages 11.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Nate Lubick averages 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists a game. Forward Mikael Hopkins averages 6.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.  Jabril Trawick and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Center Tyler Adams is ineligible for the season.

Notre Dame is coached by Mike Brey. The Fighting Irish have loss in a tournament in Brooklyn in overtime to St. Joseph’s, at home against UConn, and at St. John’s. Notre Dame has key wins over BYU in Brooklyn, George Washington, Kentucky, Purdue in Indianapolis, Seton Hall, at Cincinnati and at home against Rutgers 69-66 Saturday. The Rutgers win snapped a two game losing streak for the Irish. The Fighting Irish are 8-7 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season.

Notre Dame is outscoring teams 75-62 this season. The Irish are #46 in scoring. Notre Dame is shooting 50.6% from the field and 40.6% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish are #5 in field goal percentage and #10 in 3 point shooting. The Irish make 70.6% of their free throws. Notre Dame averages 35.9 rebounds per game and they give up 28 to opponents. Irish opponents are shooting  40% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Fighting Irish average 19 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and and 11 turnovers.

Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley averages 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Guard Jerian Grant averages 12.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Eric Atkins averages 12.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Pat Connaughton averages 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game. Guard Scott Martin averages 8.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Center Garrick Sherman averages 7.8 points, and 3.6 rebounds per game. Cameron Biedscheid averages 7.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Forward Eric Katenda is out indefinitely for undisclosed reasons.

Georgetown is 7-0 ATS after failing to cover, 4-1 after a straight up loss, and in Monday games. The last 4 games in this series went under the total.

Notre Dame is 6-2 ATS after a straight up win, 3-7 in Big East games, and 1-5-1 in Monday games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The Irish are 3-1-1 in the last 5 against the Hoyas in South Bend.

Both of these teams have struggled since Big East play started. Georgetown started their slump once Whittington was suspended. They weren’t very deep to start with and to lose a player of his caliber was devastating. Notre Dame’s struggles are a little more difficult to understand. Perhaps the whole campus is still in mourning over the beatdown the football team suffered in the BCS championship game, or maybe it is shock from the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax story. I am being facetious, of course, but it is puzzling why Notre Dame has struggled. I like Notre Dame to win at home especially if Whittington doesn’t play.

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