Preview: Duke at Notre Dame
Duke shoots for its fourth consecutive win on Monday night as it visits struggling Notre Dame in a nationally-televised game. The Fighting Irish have lost four straight and own just one victory in conference play.
The Blue Devils did not look like the No. 2 team in the country for 20-plus minutes on Saturday afternoon, but something clicked after a timeout early in the second half as they were able to pull away for the 66-53 win over Georgia Tech. “Our guys were just different [after that timeout], which says a lot about them,” coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. “This is a game you lose if you’re thinking about being a winner. It’s a game that winners win, when you can turn it around with 18 minutes to go and just really not playing well, and then playing great.” A challenging start to the ACC schedule gets even tougher for Notre Dame as it faces a second top-three team in three days after getting blown out at home by No. 3 Virginia on Saturday. “I can’t say enough how impressed I am with [the Cavaliers],” Irish coach Mike Brey told the media after the 82-55 loss. “They could win the national championship. They are men who have won together and are polished, and we are the exact opposite right now. We’re searching and trying to build it.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT DUKE (17-2, 6-1 ACC): ACC scoring-leader RJ Barrett (23.9) recorded a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line while adding 11 rebounds against Georgia Tech. Zion Williamson, second in ACC scoring (21.7), added 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting and chipped in with seven rebounds and three blocks. Point guard Tre Jones made his return to the lineup after missing two games with an injury and had six points, four rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (11-9, 1-6): Brey was not impressed with his squad after Saturday’s loss and scheduled an 8 a.m. workout for the team on Sunday as a punishment. The Irish missed their first nine shots en route to 36.1 percent shooting from the floor and made just 8-of-29 from 3-point range while being outrebounded 45-33. John Mooney was a lone bright spot for Notre Dame, scoring 15 points and adding 10 rebounds for his ACC-leading 12th double-double of the season.
1. Duke leads the all-time series 24-7, including wins at home and in the ACC tournament last season.
2. The Blue Devils are second in the ACC and fourth in the nation in points per game (87.4).
3. Mooney leads the ACC in rebounding at 10.8 per game.