Wisconsin Badgers vs Notre Dame Irish Pick
When: 7:27 PM ET, Friday, March 25, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Odds: Notre Dame -1, Total: 131.5
TV: 7:27 p.m. ET, TBS
Wisconsin vs Notre Dame Preview
Notre Dame opened the ACC tournament by rallying from a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat Duke in overtime, only to get pounded 78-47 by North Carolina in the semifinals. The sixth-seeded Fighting Irish haven’t lost their flair for the dramatic at the Big Dance, however, digging out of a 12-point hole to beat Michigan before getting a tip-in from freshman Rex Pflueger with 1.5 seconds left to hold off a second-round upset bid from Stephen F. Austin. Wisconsin turned in a listless offensive effort in a 12-point loss to Nebraska in the second round of the Big Ten tournament, then survived the lowest-scoring effort by a winning team in the NCAA Tournament since 2003 in a 47-43 first-round victory over Pittsburgh.
Wisconsin Badgers (22-12): Defense, specifically keeping the opponent’s leading scorer in check, has been key for the Badgers through two NCAA Tournament games as Wisconsin held Pittsburgh’s Michael Young nearly 10 points below his 15.7 average and Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett to eight points below his usual 15.1-point standard. Koenig (13.3 points) ended a three-game slide in which he totaled 21 points on 7-of-32 from the field by scoring 20 on 6-of-15 shooting – including 6-of-12 beyond the arc – versus the Musketeers. The same cannot be said for leading scorer Nigel Hayes (15.9 points), who has missed all 17 of his 3-point attempts and is a combined 7-of-42 from the floor over his last three outings.
Notre Dame Irish (23-11): Zach Auguste (14.3 points, 10.9 boards) became the 13th Fighting Irish to reach 800 career rebounds Sunday and has posted 10 double-doubles over his last 14 outings, averaging 15.3 points and 12.1 boards over that span. The 6-10 senior forward is shooting 70.5 percent from the field in seven career NCAA Tournament games and has a chance to break Bill Walton’s tournament record (68.6) if he is able to maintain his current percentage on nine or more attempts. V.J. Beachem (11.6 points) is coming off his worst shooting effort (6-for-13) since Notre Dame’s postseason run began, but he is still averaging 15.8 points on 24-of-39 from the field – including 13-of-25 from long-range – over that four-game stretch.
Wisconsin vs Notre Dame Betting Predictions
No two teams left in the tourney field have more experience from playing in last year’s Big Dance than Wisconsin and Notre Dame. The Badgers lost to Duke in the national championship game 68-63 while the Fighting Irish fell to the Wildcats 68-66 in the Elite Eight. Both finished Under the total.
The Badgers have dictated tempo, played great defense and relied on timely shooting to get to the Sweet 16. Wisconsin has seen 10 of its last 11 games go Under compared to seven of 10 for Notre Dame.
Going with the under in this game