Men's Basketball: Hey, Georgia Tech can get to Notre Dame after all
►WHO: Georgia Tech (11-17 overall; 4-13 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (20-8; 13-4)
►WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149).
►WHEN: Saturday at 5 p.m.
►TV: ACC Network
►RADIO: WSBT (960 AM).
►TICKETS: Available. Masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status. Concessions are again available.
►ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI.
►NOTING: Michael Devoe scored 18 points and Georgia Tech battled back from a 13-point deficit with under five minutes remaining for the chance to tie before Wednesday’s 62-58 home loss to Virginia Tech. ... The Yellow Jackets have lost two straight, five of six and seven of nine. … They have held their last two opponents – Syracuse and Virginia Tech – to 32.9 percent and 39 percent from the field. … Georgia Tech’s last seven opponents have shot an average of 27.8 percent from 3. … This caps a stretch of three games in six days and four in eight for the Yellow Jackets, who are 2-6 on the road in league play with wins at Boston College and Pittsburgh. … Georgia Tech enters the second to last weekend of the regular season tied with North Carolina State for 14th place. Notre Dame is alone in second. … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 13-12, 9-2 at home and 10-6 as conference colleagues. Georgia Tech last won at Purcell Pavilion on Feb. 24, 1990. ... Each of the last five matchups have been decided by eight or fewer points. … This is Georgia Tech's first game at Notre Dame since Feb. 1, 2020. Last year's visit was wiped out because of coronavirus health/safety protocols within the Yellow Jackets' program. ... Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech in overtime, 72-68, on Jan. 8 in midtown Atlanta. Four Irish scored double figures led by freshman guard Blake Wesley with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Graduate student Paul Atkinson, Jr., came off the bench for the only time this season for 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 36 minutes. That game featured four ties and eight lead changes. Notre Dame led by as many as six and trailed by as many as eight. The Irish shot .388 percent from the field, .222 percent from 3 and .833 percent from the foul line. … Notre Dame (.305) and Georgia Tech (.317) rank second and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense for league games. … The Irish close the regular season, which ends March 5, with two of their last three at home. Notre Dame has the best home record for overall games (12-1) and league games (7-1) in the ACC. … The Irish have won six of their last seven, 10 of 12 and 16 of 19 dating back to late December. … Two losses by No. 7 Duke and three wins by Notre Dame to close the regular season would give the Irish their first regular season league championship in school history.
►QUOTING: "Look, I know it's not showing up in wins, but we have gotten better. We really have. Obviously, the sport we're in, there is a scoreboard. From my chair, I know our team has improved and gotten better. When you're holding teams defensively like that, you've got to take advantage and get the win. We've not been able to get over the hump and score enough." — Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner on his team's recent struggles.
— Tom Noie
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI