Notre Dame’s Nate Laszewski (14) dunks during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 79-58. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
- Notre Dame has won four of its last six games as they visit at Louisville at 7pm ET Tuesday
- Irish big man Nate Laszweski ranks third in NCAA Division I in effective field goal percentage
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
Notre Dame (9-11, 6-8 ACC) brings one of the nation’s best-shooting big men, 6-foot-10 perimeter threat Nate Laszewski, into the second game of a three-game ACC road trip at Louisville at 7pm ET Tuesday.
Once ranked No. 16 in the AP poll, Louisville (11-5, 6-4) has lost four of six straight up and ATS during a herky-jerky season that has included two long coronavirus stoppages of nearly three weeks.
Notre Dame vs Louisville Odds
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+150||+3.5 (-110)||141 (Over-110)|
|Louisville Cardinals||-178||-3.5 (-110)||141 (Under-110)|
Odds from FanDuel on Feb 22
Notre Dame seemed well on the way to its third straight victory and sixth straight cover when it held a 20-point lead with 17 minutes remaining at Syracuse on Saturday, but the Orange finished the game on a 40-12 run for a 75-67 victory.
Louisville was routed at North Carolina 99-54 on Saturday in its first game in 19 days, following a second coronavirus shutdown that included a positive test for coach Chris Mack.
Louisville’s Season-Long Battle with the Virus
Louisville is among those that has been the hardest hit by the virus. The Cardinals endured an 18-day stoppage in early December and a recent 19-day stoppage during which four straight games and five of six were canceled or postponed.
The Cardinals have looked out of sync in their first game back each time. Wisconsin took an 85-48 victory on Dec. 19 after the Cardinals’ first hiatus. Playing without leading scorer Carlik Jones (17.1 points,5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists) the Cardinals suffered their worst loss in 55 seasons. Louisville had 10 players available for their 99-54 loss at North Carolina.
The Cardinals recovered nicely after the blowout by Wisconsin, starting a five-game winning streak with a victory over Pitt, a streak that included victories over Kentucky and Virginia Tech.
ND’s Laszewski Model of Efficiency
The Irish’s Nate Laszewski, a 6-foot-10 junior, is among the most improved shooters in Division I. He’s making the most of his chances in a spread-it-around offense that has five double-figure scorers.
Laszeswki is averaging a team-high 15 points per game despite averaging only 8.1 field goal attempts. He is shooting 64.8% from the field and is especially dangerous on the perimeter, where he has made of 34-of-66 threes, a 51.5% clip.
He is the only player Division I in player shooting over .600 from the field, .500 from three-point range and averaging over 7.0 rebounds per game. He averages 7.8.
Notre Dame junior point guard Prentiss Hubb is 13th in Division I and second in the Power 6 with 6.2 assists per game. Hubb and Iowa’s fifth-year senior Brian Bohannon are the only two major conference players with 400 career assists and 160 career threes.
Reinforcements Arrive for Louisville
Cardinals center Malik Williams played his first game of the season against North Carolina after undergoing surgery on No. 11 for a broken bone in his left foot.
Williams, 6-foot-11, was the runner-up in the voting for ACC sixth man of the year last season, when he averaged 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He had four points and three rebounds in 17 minutes against the Tar Heels.
Williams could be expected to see more time against a Notre Dame frontline that includes Laszewki and 6-foot-11 center Juwan Durham, who is averaging 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.
Freshman forward Dre Davis (7.9 points per game) played only 20 minutes after suffering a thigh bruise against North Carolina but practiced without interruption earlier this week and is expected to play, Reserve Josh Nickelberry (illness) is not expected to play.
By the Numbers
Notre Dame is 10-10 ATS, 8-6 in ACC games and 5-3 in ACC road games. The Irish have won seven of their last nine ATS and had a streak of four straight road covers broken when the wheels fell off in the second half at Syracuse.
The Cardinals have won five straight in the series, including a three-point win in Purcell Pavilion last season.
Both teams have played to a pattern of beating the teams they could be expected to beat. Notre Dame, No. 67 in the NCAA Net rankings, is 3-11 in Quad I and Quad 2 games and 6-0 against Quad 3 and Quad 4.
Louisville is No. 53 in the Net rankings and is 0-4 in Quad 1 games and 6-0 in Quad 2 games.
Notre Dame is No. 1 in Division I in fewest personal fouls per game (11.8) and ranks eighth in fewest turnovers per game (10.3) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.51).
The pick: Notre Dame +3.5 (-110)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.