Men's Basketball: What you need to know with Virginia in town to play Notre Dame
► WHO: Virginia (12-8 overall; 6-4 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (13-6; 6-2)
► WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
► WHEN: Saturday at 6 p.m.
► TV: ACC Network
► RADIO: WSBT (960 AM).
► TICKETS: Available.
► ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI.
Men's Basketball: Future Notre Dame guard dreamed in middle school of earning elite honor
► NOTING: Virginia guard Kihei Clark scored 15 points and guard Reece Beekman added a career high 11 assists in Monday’s 64-52 home victory over Louisville. The Cavaliers led for 39 minutes and by as many as 19. Virginia shot 47 percent from the field and finished with 20 assists. Jayden Gardner added 14 points. … Since winning two straight league games in early January, Virginia has gone lose, win, lose, win, lose, win over its next six. … This starts a stretch of four of seven on the road in league play, where the Cavaliers are 3-2. Virginia has wins at Syracuse, Clemson and Pittsburgh with losses at North Carolina and North Carolina State. It allowed a season high 77 points in the Jan. 22 loss to the Wolfpack. … Gardner leads the Cavaliers in scoring (14.0). Former Indiana guard Armaan Franklin ranks second (12.2). Beekman is second in the league in assists (4.95) and first in steals (2.25) and assist/turnover ratio (3.67). Clark is the lone remaining player from the 2019 national championship squad. … Virginia returned one starter (Clark) off last year’s team that finished 18-7, 13-4 and first place in the ACC. The Cavaliers were picked this preseason to finish fourth with nine first-place votes; the Irish were picked eighth. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season. … Coach Tony Bennett is one of two ACC coaches in league history (Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith) to have 10 straight winning seasons in conference play. … Virginia entered 2021-22 a combined 264-72 over the last 10 years. … The Cavaliers led the nation in scoring defense six of the last eight years. They currently rank 12th (59.3), but first in the ACC. … The Cavaliers are 11th in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage (.332), 12th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.353) and 14th (second to last) in scoring offense (62.55). … Virginia spent one week – the opening week of the season – in the Associated Press poll at No. 25. … This is the first time Virginia is unranked heading into a game against Notre Dame since Jan. 28, 2014, the first year in the ACC for the Irish. … Virginia enters the weekend in seventh place in the ACC; Notre Dame is tied with No. 9 Duke for second. … Following Wednesday’s home win over North Carolina State (73-65), Notre Dame has won three straight and nine of 10 since the Dec. 18 loss to Indiana. ... Notre Dame is one of only two league teams (North Carolina) still undefeated at home (8-0). The Irish rank 11th in home attendance (6,263). … … This is the second Irish home game in a six-day stretch. Next up is Monday’s sold-out rescheduled game against Duke.
► QUOTING: Every game is going to be challenging in this league. We know that. We’ve got some big ones this weekend.” — Notre Dame senior guard/captain Dane Goodwin on this weekend’s Saturday-Monday home swing against Virginia and Duke.
— Tom Noie
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI