The first, which includes games against three top ten teams, will have a significant effect on any NCAA Tournament hopes. 1-4 here could finish Notre Dame off before we even reach the halfway point of the conference season. Predicted scores are by Ken Pomeroy, followed by the predicted number of possessions and percentage chance of victory.
|Sat Jan 9||(10) West Virginia||L, 79-73||66||28%||Home|
|Sat Jan 16||(56) Cincinnati||L, 77-70||67||26%||Away|
|Mon Jan 18||(5) Syracuse||L, 89-79||74||21%||Home|
|Sat Jan 23||(183) DePaul||W, 75-62||62||90%||Home|
|Wed Jan 27||(29) Villanova||L, 92-80||72||17%||Away|
The Irish reach a nice run of easier games, all of which are very winnable. Sweeping these contests, or even taking four of five is extremely important.
|Sat Jan 30||(157) Rutgers||W, 78-74||69||65%||Away|
|Thu Feb 4||(56) Cincinnati||W, 74-73||67||56%||Home|
|Sun Feb 7||(77) South Florida||W, 74-70||65||65%||Home|
|Thu Feb 11||(58) Seton Hall||L, 90-83||75||27%||Away|
|Sun Feb 14||(87) St. John's||W, 77-72||67||70%||Home|
Finally, a death march to end the year. ND was unlucky to land five of its most difficult games right at the end of the year. Even one win here would be a very good accomplishment.
|Wed Feb 17||(34) Louisville||L, 87-77||72||19%||Away|
|Wed Feb 24||(27) Pittsburgh||L, 72-70||64||42%||Home|
|Sat Feb 27||(14) Georgetown||L, 82-69||68||12%||Away|
|Wed Mar 3||(37) Connecticut||L, 79-78||71||47%||Home|
|Sat Mar 6||(23) Marquette||L, 84-72||67||15%||Away|
Though the loss to Loyola Marymount was a huge disappointment that seriously affected our Tournament hopes, I think that final stretch of games is still what will make or break this season. Regardless of Notre Dame's overall conference record (it probably should be 10-8 at least to make the right side of the bubble), those last five games could have the Irish reeling while under the committee's microscope. Of course, if this team cannot pull out an extra win or two in January or drops a game it should win, the final games won't matter.