The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were returning to action after a double-overtime victory against Rutgers for their play-in game to get into the tournament. The odds for the game between Alabama vs Notre Dame are on favor the Notre Dame team since Alabama has been inconsistent all season.
The 11th seed Irish were taking on a sixth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and against all odds to perform on one day’s rest. Below you can see why the Crimson Tide suffered defeat and how the Irish are still an appealing asset to March Madness picks.
Alabama’s Season Wraps Up
Alabama was, on average, a -4.5 favorite according to the point spreads. March Madness betting had the previous top 10 ranked team overall getting far into the tournament.
The Crimson Tide was arguably the better team here but was unable to capitalize in key moments. In addition, Jahvon Quinerly (13.8 ppg) suffered a knee injury early in the game and did not return to action. This is where the Crimson Tide began to slowly fall apart.
They were the 13th best team in the nation when looking at the tempo of the offense and open court drives. However, they also average roughly 15 turnovers a game and had 14 themselves in this one.
Surprisingly, Notre Dame lost the ball 18 times but it did not impact them as it should have. The one huge factor in this game was three-point shooting. Cormac Ryan (9.2 ppg, 4.8 rebounds per game) unloaded seven for nine shooting beyond the arc and finished with 29 points.
Notre Dame shot 62 percent from three, making 10 out of 16 shots from behind the arc. Alabama only made eight out of 24.
Keon Ellis (12.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) finished with a team-high 16 points and had nine rebounds. He was great from three-point range, as he made four out of six. Jaden Shackelford (16.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) struggled from beyond the arc, only making two out of 10 shots from deep.
In addition, free throws were a big deal too. The Fighting Irish sank 10 out of 11, while the Tide only made four out of seven.
Alabama put up one heck of a fight, despite losing one of their key players early in the game. Notre Dame has the ability to keep rolling, but they need to continue making shots and stop the careless turnovers.
How Dangerous are the Fighting Irish?
In Alabama vs. Notre Dame betting, the Irish were a slight underdog. In their matchup with Rutgers, they bounced around between one and two-point underdogs.
In both games, they have been challenged early with defensive intensity. Against Rutgers, this was a grueling matchup that took two overtimes to decide the outcome.
The Irish take on the third seed Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders are known for their smothering defense and cannot allow another Cormac Ryan outburst.