Notre Dame basketball is 1-3 against teams in the top 25, and could really use a win against Virginia to get back on track.
For a team that’s leading the best conference in college basketball, has taken down longtime rival Louisville, and is moving up the AP Poll behind players no one believed would leave them anywhere, Notre Dame is proving everyone wrong. But they aren’t a proven team just yet.
The Irish may be impressive considering they were given no chance coming into the season. Being 1-3 against ranked teams tells a different story, though.
Notre Dame has come down to the wire against three of the best teams in the country. No one can say that the Irish aren’t a talented team nor deserve to be in the top 25. This team has fought and earned everything they’ve been given.
Now, the Irish need to take it to the next level. You can’t take anything away from their losses to Villanova, Purdue, and Florida State. C’mon, the margin of victory for all three games combined is 16 points. Notre Dame can hang with the best of them, but they aren’t a threat without some victories.
That’s where Virginia comes into play. A win over the 12th ranked Cavaliers will go a long way in Notre Dame’s reputation. Right now, the Irish are known as the team outside the top. They have all the talent to compete with the best of the best, but they can’t beat them. Their win against Louisville meant a lot for the Irish. A win against Virginia will mean even more.
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Virginia may not have the resume to make them a top tier team. At 15-3 and 5-2 in the ACC, they really haven’t been any more impressive than Notre Dame. In fact, the only top 25 win Virginia has is against Louisville.
The Cavaliers are established and that’s why a win over them is so important. Even without the built up resume, Virginia has been one of the NCAA’s best for the past few years, and they’re continuing that this season.
Notre Dame should beat the Cavaliers. This isn’t an underdog upset waiting to happen. If anything, the Irish have proven more the Cavaliers this year. What this is, is another impressive win. That second top 25 victory gets Notre Dame over the hump and back on their winning ways. Because right now, they’re stuck as the team who couldn’t beat FSU.
The Irish are real, and everyone knows it. This team is a fluke, and they aren’t overhyped. Heck, this team has been under appreciated all. All a win over Virginia does is help their rep.
They don’t need to blow the Cavaliers out of the building. They certainly don’t need this win to stay in the ACC hunt. All they need this win for is to prove to the nonbelievers that they can win against ranked teams. After Tuesday, they’ll get what they’re looking for.