The ACC has been red hot to start the season. With three teams in the top five, and five total in the top 25 in all the land, they’re deep from top to bottom. On Saturday, No. 3 Virginia will take on No. 13 Notre Dame in one of the many high profile ACC matchups this season.
Notre Dame comes into this game on a very impressive win streak, and just one game removed from an incredibly impressive road win in Chapel Hill against Notre Dame. Senior guard Jerian Grant has lead Notre Dame this season, both as a scorer and as a leader. Grant is leading the Irish with 17 points per contest, but is also sharing the ball well, averaging six assists per game. Junior forward Zach Auguste has also carried some of the weight for the Irish, dropping in nearly 15 points per game. His shooting percentage over 60% has made him a player to watch.
The defending ACC champions, Virginia, have started their season perfectly. They enter Saturday’s duel as one of the three remaining undefeated teams in college basketball, and appear primed to make another push towards a one seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Junior guard Justin Anderson leads a very experienced team that knows how to win. The Cavaliers just don’t seem to be phased in high pressure situations. In a trap game last week on the road against Miami, Anderson and the Cavaliers hit some big shots to carry the game into double OT, and eventually a big win.
Prediction: It’s hard to ignore how well Notre Dame has been playing recently. Beating UNC on the road is never an easy task, and Notre Dame just continues to win. However, if there’s one thing Virginia is really good at, it’s winning big time games in the ACC. I look for Virginia to control the pace of the game and get a huge win on the road.
Be sure to catch the game Saturday at 6:00 ET on ESPN 2.
*Section Photo credit to Michael Hickey, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to John David Mercer, USA Today Sports.