NCAA Basketball Predictions - IPFW Mastodons vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Fort Wayne Mastodons players and coach

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 6:40 PM GMT

The Mastodons already have an upset of the Hoosiers in a shocking 71-68 win over Indiana. This victory has elevated Fort Wayne's level of play and although not much was expected of them, they've had a great start to the season. Now, they find themselves in another tough game against nationally ranked Notre Dame. Are the Mastodons up for the task?

 Fort Wayne Mastodons vs. #23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

 

Big Test For the Irish?

Notre Dame has been knocking off opponents left and right and although they haven't faced "the cream of the crop", they've been very convincing offensively in putting the opposition away.

Now, they face an intra-state team in Fort Wayne that really has nothing to lose. Notre Dame's plus/minus ratio has been "off the chart" as they've averaged 89.1 points per game while allowing a mere 62.6. That's domination. To make a case for Fort Wayne, they've average over 88 points per contest and are a +15 themselves. Something has to give in this very intriguing matchup.

 

"The Big 3"

They can score efficiently, dominate the boards, play solid defense, and are almost automatic from the free throw line. That's what the Fighting Irish have in their top 3 scorers, V.J. Beachem (17.1 points ,4.1 rebounds, 40.4% from 3-point range), Bonzie Colson (17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 91.3 % free throws), and Steve Vasturia (15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 48.6% from 3 point range).

What makes this trio so special is that each player excels at a different facet of the game, making this a very well-rounded basketball squad. They haven't played a Duke or a Kentucky, but the numbers speak for themselves. Quite simply, Beachem has been the model of consistency, Colson has provided a double-double every game, and Vasturia has been a big-time 3 point threat shooting 3 of 5 in each of his last 4 games. This game has the makings of a shootout.

 

"More Mo"

The Mastodons will rely heavily on their top player, Mo Evans if they want to preserve their current 6 games winning streak. The senior Evans can do it all. He can play both ends of the court and Fort Wayne will certainly need a defensive presence. This is a player that will be difficult to contain for any team in the country and Notre Dame will have their hands full. 

Evans is coming off of a 23 point, 10 assists, 6 rebound, and 4 steals effort in convincing 87-71 win over Miami (OH). Evans shot the lights out as he was a perfect 5 of 5 from beyond the arc. He's averaging 18.1 points, 6.3 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game. Notre Dame should be afraid of this undersized senior. Look for the Mastodons to make this an appealing game for your NCAA basketball pick. After all, they've been underestimated all season long and are a double-digit dog in this game.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Fort Wayne Mastodons +13 (-103)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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