Old Dominion Vs. Notre Dame Prediction

Ray MonohanContributor IMarch 16, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 12:  The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot performs during the semifinal of the 2010 Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Old Dominion vs. Notre Dame – 12:30 P.M. Thursday, March 18th NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First Round

Notre Dame -2 (-110) / Old Dominion +2 (-110) Over/Under 122

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The 11th seed Old Dominion Monarchs take on the #6 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first round of the South regional with tip-off scheduled for 12:30 P.M. on Thursday, March 18th in New Orleans, LA.

Coming out of the Colonial Athletic Conference, Old Dominion had one of their best seasons in recent memory. They finished with an overall record of 26-8 and won the CAA regular season title with a conference record of 15-3.

This feat alone may have been good enough for an at-large bid, but to make sure they were invited to the dance, the Monarchs rolled through the conference tournament and took home the tournament title as well with a 60-53 win over William& Mary in the final. In winning seven of their last eight games they come into the NCAA’s playing their best ball of the season.

They are led by senior F Gerald Lee, who is averaging 14.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He is surrounded by four solid starters and a surprisingly deep bench that should allow them to hang in there against anyone.

After three straight losses in the middle of February, the Fighting Irish (23-10) chances of making the NCAA Tournament seemed dead and buried but an impressive late season finish brought them back to life. They finished the regular season with solid wins over Pittsburgh (68-53) and Georgetown (78-64) and a 63-60 overtime thriller over Marquette.

They followed this up with an impressive run to the semi-finals in the Big East Tournament that included another win over Pittsburgh (50-45). The run ended when they lost to West Virginia 53-51, as a last second game winning shot rimmed out.

The Irish are led by senior F Luke Harangody and junior F Tim Abromaitis.

Harangody is averaging 22.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and Abromaitis is averaging 16.6 points and 4.8 rebounds. Another key contributor has been senior G Ben Hansbrough, who is averaging 11.8 points per game.

Old Dominion is one of the better defensive teams in the nation and more than capable of holding their own against the Irish. Look for them to create enough pressure to force some turnovers to keep this game close.

As an 11 seed this is not the kind of team the Irish wanted to face in the first round of this tournament as the hangover from the tough loss to Mountaineers still lingers on.

Betting Trends:

Fighting Irish are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Fighting Irish are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win
Fighting Irish are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games overall
Under is 5-0 in Fighting Irish last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite
Under is 4-0 in Fighting Irish last 4 games as a favorite
Under is 5-0 in Fighting Irish last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of 0.5-6.5
Monarchs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog
Monarchs are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games as an underdog
Monarchs are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog of 0.5-6.5

Fighting Irish vs Monarchs Free Pick: Old Dominion +2

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