ACC Basketball Tuesday Night Preview: #10 Notre Dame Vs. Clemson

Only one ACC match-up for you here on Tuesday night, as #10 Notre Dame takes on the Clemson Tigers on the road. Here’s everything you need to know before tuning in to watch this intriguing game.

#10 Notre Dame (21-4, 9-3, RPI: 26) Vs. Clemson (14-9, 6-5, RPI: 75), 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

Game Notes

      • Notre Dame enters the game giving up 65.2 points per game, which is 156th in the country. This, after getting torched by Duke on Saturday 90-60, in a game where they allowed the Blue Devils to shoot almost 82% from the floor in the first half.
      • The Irish average 80.0 points per game on the season, which is 10th best in the country, and shoot nearly 52% as a team which is 2nd nationally.
      • Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant was held to his second lowest scoring output of the season on Saturday against Duke, as he only managed to score seven points on 3-10 shooting from the field. He is the current favorite to win ACC Player of the Year, so the expectation is that he bounces back in this game. He averages 16.8 points and 6.3 assists on the season.
    • The Tigers in contrast, are statistically one of the worst teams in the country. They are 291st nationally in scoring (62.3 points per game) and are 286th in field goal percentage (40.9%).
    • Clemson was held to 20-61 shooting on Sunday afternoon, and their 45 point output against Miami (FL) was the second-lowest scoring output of the season.

    • Jaron Blossomgame will be looking to snap out of a mini-scoring slump. Blossomgame has only eclipsed double figures twice in his last five games, but has averaged 12.8 points per game and 7.9 rebounds on the season, which leads the Tigers.
    • Also, there’s this intriguing stat…


Notre Dame looked like anything but a Top 10 team on Saturday against Duke, getting whipped from start to finish 90-60. To be fair to the Irish, Duke would have beaten anyone in the country on Saturday with the way they played. The Blue Devils put together the best 40 minutes of basketball all-around that I’ve seen all season. Notre Dame has one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the country, but when they are unable to establish driving lanes to the basket against good defensive teams, their drive-and-kick system that relies on their three point shooters, is no longer effective. As we saw on Saturday, Duke was able to eliminate ND’s free runs to the basket, which made it difficult for the Irish’s scorers like Jerian Grant, to get going. Match-ups will ultimately dictate how far Notre Dame goes in March, as they could be anywhere from an Elite Eight or Sweet Sixteen team, to out on day one.

Clemson is one of those teams that could provide the Irish with some trouble. Defensively, the Tigers are fantastic. Their scoring defense sits near the top of the ACC, as they only give up around 60 points per game. Pace will determine whether or not they can pull the upset on Tuesday, because Notre Dame will win a high scoring shootout with almost any team in the country. Teams that are able to slow the pace against ND, like Duke and Virginia, were able to enjoy moderate success. While the Irish are very good in the half court, limiting their possessions is the best way to beat them, and the Tigers should try to do just that on Tuesday. Jaron Blossomgame is the player to watch on Clemson, as his scoring ability, and more importantly, his defense, will be crucial to the upset chances of the Tigers.

This game will be closer than many expect. A win would be huge for the Tigers’ tournament hopes, especially coming off of their loss to Miami on Sunday afternoon. The Irish are already a lock to make the NCAA Tournament, but a win would solidify their chances at winning the ACC regular season title. I like Notre Dame to win on the road in a close match-up on Tuesday night.

Notre Dame 75  Clemson 69

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