Feb 24, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Jack Cooley (45) dunks in the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 62-41 at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Notre Dame @ Marquette

 

Marquette is currently ranked 22nd in the country with a record of 20-7 and 11-4 in the Big East. They are currently one game ahead of the Irish in the Big East and one game out of first. This is a key game leading up to the Big East tournament and will play a part in the seeding for the NCAA tournament. While both teams are almost guaranteed to make the big dance they still need to finish strong to get a decent seeding in the bracket.

This is the first game of March for both teams and the Irish will need to get on a roll going into the tournament. With three games left, @Marquette, St Johns, and @Louisville it will not be an easy road finishing the season. If Notre Dame wins out they have a chance to get a 3 or 4 seed, but right now they are sitting at a 5 seed according to Joe Lunardi’s bracket.

 

Marquette will need a star performance from Vander Blue, their leading scorer who is shooting 46.1% from the floor, but only 30% from beyond the arc.  Davante Gardner will also need a good game since he is their leading rebounder and shoots a team high 57.1% (20 minutes or more a game) from the floor and shoots 85.6% from the free throw line, which is also a team high.

 

Notre Dame is a better in rebounding, shooting percentage, assists, and points per game. Marquette tends to struggle rebounding the basketball and if Cooley can have one of his signature games look for the Irish to win big. Jerian Grant needs to get back on track and not only take smart shots, but make them. A weakness for the Irish is driving to the hoop, but if they get to the rim via Grant the Irish will come away with the win. Notre Dame 64 Marquette 55.

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