Men's Basketball

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North Carolina Preview - Five Things To Know

Feb. 2, 2017

ND Game Notes At UNC Get Acrobat Reader

WHO: No. 20/18 Notre Dame (17-6, 6-4 ACC) at No. 12/10 North Carolina (20-4, 8-2 ACC)

WHERE: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4, 6:00 p.m. ET

ESPN NATIONAL BROADCAST: Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) with Dick Vitale (analyst) and Allison Williams (sideline). 

RADIO BROADCAST: The Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network with Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Zach Hillesland (analyst). You can also listen live online at WatchND.tv

The home team radio broadcast will be available on Sirius/XM Channel 84. 

Here are Five Things To Know about the Irish - Tar Heel matchup - 

NOTRE DAME vs. NORTH CAROLINA SERIES HISTORY:  

Notre Dame and North Carolina will be meeting for the 28th time on Saturday evening, with the Tar Heels holding a 20-7 advantage in the series. Two of the winningest college basketball programs, the Irish and Tar Heels have met on and off since the late 1950s, when No. 17 Notre Dame knocked off No. 11 North Carolina 89-70 in Chicago Stadium on Feb. 15, 1958.

North Carolina is a frequent postseason opponent for Notre Dame. The two teams have met four times in the NCAA Championship, once in the National Invitationl Tournament and for the 2015 ACC Championship - a 90-82 Notre Dame victory to secure the program’s first ACC Championship.

Saturday will mark just Notre Dame’s fifth visit to Chapel Hill (the Irish are 1-3 at North Carolina), as 17 of the meetings in the series have occurred at neutral sites.

SUCCESS IN THE TAR HEEL STATE:

Notre Dame joined the ACC at the start of the 2013-14 basketball season. The Irish ended up 0-3 in the state of North Carolina that year (65-58 loss at Wake Forest, 63-61 loss at North Carolina, 81-69 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro).

Since breaking through for the program’s first win in Chapel Hill, 71-70, at North Carolina on Jan. 5, 2015, the Irish have won seven of the last eight games they have played in the Tar Heel State:

at North Carolina

W

71-70

Jan. 5, 2015

at NC State

W

81-78 (OT)

Jan. 25, 2015

at Duke

L

60-90

Feb. 7, 2015

vs. Miami

W

70-63

March 12, 2015*

vs. Duke

W

74-64

March 13, 2015*

vs. North Carolina

W

90-82

March 14, 2015*

at Duke

W

95-91

Jan. 16, 2016

at Wake Forest

W

69-58

Feb. 24, 2016


STREAK BUSTERS:

Notre Dame began its three-game ACC road swing by ending two home court win streaks.

The Irish ended Miami’s 21-game win streak at the Watsco Center with a 67-62 victory on Jan. 12, 2017.

Notre Dame ended Virginia Tech’s 15-game streak at the Cassell Colliseum on Jan. 14, 2017 with a 76-71 victory.

North Carolina has won 14 consecutive home games entering the match up with Notre Dame on Saturday night.

BY THE NUMBERS - IRISH vs. TAR HEELS: 

1.69

Assist-to-turnover ratio for Notre Dame this sesason, the second-best in the nation behind UCLA (1.86).

2

Irish student-athletes as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalists for national awards. Senior guard Steve Vasturia is one of 10 on the Jerry West Award (top SG) list, while junior Bonzie Colson is one fo the 10 in the running for the Karl Malone Award (top PF).

3.1

Team grade-point-average (rounded up from the official number of 3.096) for the Irish in the fall semester of 2016, the best combined group average posted by a Notre Dame men’s basketball team since the spring of 2009.

5

Saturday will mark Notre Dame’s fifth trip to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. While the two teams have met 27 times previously, 17 of those meetings occurred at neutral sites (including four NCAA Tournament and two ACC Tournament matchups along with one NIT game).

7

Notre Dame has won seven of its last eight games played in the state of North Carolina, including a 71-70 victory in Chapel Hill over No. 18 North Carolina on Jan. 5, 2015 (see page three for more details).

9.9

Turnovers-per-game average for the Irish this season, third-best in the nation.

10.6

Rebounds-per-game average for Bonzie Colson, which leads the ACC and is 14th in the country (as of Jan. 29). Colson also leads the ACC in overall double-doubles (13) and double-doubles in ACC competition (6).

11.3

Improved points-per-game scoring average for junior Matt Farrell (13.9 this season compared to 2.6 from 2015-16), the second-best mark in the ACC and for a player from the Brey era (1st, +14.4, Tim Abromaitis, 2009-10, 3rd, Chris Quinn, +10.4, 2003-04). 

18.0

Points-per-game average of the last five games for senior V.J. Beachem, who is coming off the first back-to-back 20 point games of his career (23 at Georgia Tech, 20 vs. Duke).

73

Victories over the past three seasons for the Irish (32 in 2014-15, 24 in 2015-16 and 17 this season) one away from the all-time best three-season mark of 74 in 2010-11 (27), 2011-12 (22) and 2012-13 (25). See page 3 of this notes package for more details.

80.5

Free-throw percentage for Notre Dame this season, the second-best in the nation behind Valparaiso (80.9).

92.3

Free throw percentage for Steve Vasturia this season, fifth in the nation and first in the ACC.

104

Consecutive games started by Steve Vasturia, dating back to the final seven games of the 2013-14 season. Vasturia is the fourth Irish player to start 100 consecutive games during his career (see page 5 of this note package for more details).

320

Over 320 college basketball coaches and staff will be wearing Autism Speaks pins this weekend to raise awareness for the autism community while helping to increase understanding and acceptance.

373

Victories at Notre Dame for head coach Mike Brey, the second-most in Notre Dame history and 20 away from the all-time record (393).

937

Career points scored for Bonzie Colson, who could become the third Irish player (Steve Vasturia, V.J. Beachem) to reach 1,000 career points this season. Colson will be the 61st Notre Dame player to reach 1,000 career points.


VASTURIA AND BEACHEM REACH CAREER MILESTONES:

Senior captain Steve Vasturia entered the Legends Classic final against Northwestern needing 18 points to reach 1,000 points in his career.

Not only did Vasturia reach that milestone, he might have played the best all-around game of his career against the Wildcats. The Medford, New Jersey, native grabbed eight rebounds to go along with 18 points, three assists and three steals.

Senior V.J. Beachem needed 10 points entering the game at Georgia Tech for 1,000 career points and eclipsed that in the first half, scoring 23 points in McCamish Pavilion.

Vasturia is the 59th and Beachem the 60th Notre Dame player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Teammate Bonzie Colson could join the duo in the 1,000-point club, as Colson has 937 career points entering the matchup at North Carolina. 

2017 COACHES VS. CANCER THREE POINT CHALLENGE:

The American Cancer Society, the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the nation’s premier college basketball programs are teaming up for the Coaches vs Cancer Three-Point Challenge. Teams from coast to coast are squaring off to see who can raise the most money from behind the arc.

You can support the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by pledging for every three-point shot the team makes this February.

Follow the national competition at 3pointchallenge.org and make a pledge at https://pledgeit.org/cvc-notre-dame. The team raising the most from their three pointers will be crowned champion. All proceeds of the 3-Point Challenge will benefit the American Cancer Society and Coaches vs Cancer.


 

 

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