Duke-Notre Dame Meeting in ACC Tournament Championship Game on Saturday Night

Kevin Stott

Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:58 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 11, 2017 8:58 PM UTC

The ACC Tournament will reach its hardwood climax at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night when Duke faces Notre Dame in the Championship game in the strongest college basketball conference in the nation this season. 

Duke vs. Notre Dame

In Friday first Semifinals matchup, the team everybody loves to hate, 5th-seeded and 14th-ranked nationally Duke, knocked off the ACC Tournament’s #1 seed North Carolina, 93-83, winning outright as 4-point underdogs in a game which went way Over the closing Total(s) 154 to 156. The come-from-behind victory—the Blue Devils trailed 49-42 at Halftime—saw Grayson Allen, Jayson Tatum and Duke (13/1 to win NCAA Championship, BetDSI) outscoring the Tar Heels 51-34 in the 2nd Half as Coach K beat the Tar Heels in the ACC Tourney (Favorites 8-4 ATS) for a 6th straight time—so remember that should these two rivals meet again next season.

Shooting for their 20th ACC Tournament championship, the Blue Devils (14-18-1 ATS) have covered three straight (CLEM, LOU, NC) in the March Madness of this tourney with all three of their games going Over the Total. Former Duke workhorse and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said, “Jayson Tatum is playing at as high a level as any perimeter player in the nation.”

The second ACC Semifinals matchup saw our little Bracket Buster Notre Dame, the #3 seed and the team everybody loves to love, bounce #2-seed Florida State, 77-73, winning outright as slight 1½-point underdogs (151) after jumping out to a 16-point lead at Half. When Duke and the Fighting Irish met in the Regular Season, the Blue Devils defeated Notre Dame, 84-74 in South Bend on Jan. 30 (ND -1, 153). Trends reveal relative ACC hoops newbies Notre Dame (18-11 ATS)—their lone ACC win was in 2015—are 8-2 ATS L10 overall with the Under 5-1 in its L6. This one could go either way, but it’s hard to see either having trouble scoring and both are very efficient—Steve Vasturia (91.5%, #7 in NCAA) and Notre Dame boast the best FT percentage in the nation (80.5%)—and well-coached, with Mike Brey always having his squad March-ready.

Some Trends: Notre Dame is 6-1-1 ATS L8 Saturdays, 20-8-1 ATS L29 vs. Team with Winning Percentage Over .600 while Duke is 5-1-1 ATS in its L6 Neutral Site games but 0-5-1 ATS in its L6 Saturday dribbles. The Underdog has done well in this series, going 6-2 ATS L8 with Notre Dame an impressive 6-2 ATS the L8.

What to Expect

A quick scoring start can be anticipated in this ACC Tournament championship game with guys like Allen, Kennard and Tatum on the floor for Duke and Colson, dead-eye Vasturia and Matt Farrell for Notre Dame (60/1 to win NCAA Championship, at BookMaker), especially after the Fighting Irish went 13-27 on their three-points attempts in ousting the Tar Heels. Despite Notre Dame holding the ATS edge in this series, Duke has been slowly starting to jell after Coach K returned with Allen finding his form and Freshman sensation Tatum (16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) peaking at the perfect time, scoring 20 points. vs Clemson, 25 against #10 Louisville and then 24 vs. #6 North Carolina on Friday in the win.

Free NCAAB Pick: Duke -4 -110Best Line offered: at BetOnline

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