2007 NCAA Tournament - Winthrop vs. Notre Dame (-3˝, 148) 2:30 PM EST
The public is picking up the scent of Winthrop and betting against favored Notre Dame. The Irish are in the tournament for the first time since 2003 and will have hands full in Spokane dealing with the Big South regular season and tourney champs.
The underdogs boast a strong resume of play this season against quality opponents, and have some very big % athletic players on the court. Whether or not that’s enough to stay within 3-1/2 points of the Irish remains to be seen.
Notre Dame is a dangerous three point shooting team making 40.3 percent away from South Bend, on the way to scoring 81.5 PPG overall. Seniors Colin Falls and Russell Carter have led the hit parade, however it has the inside force of freshman Luke Harangody to score in the paint and fellow first year point guard Tory Jackson to penetrate, then dish that has made this offense so lethal.
The Irish 2-3 zone defense will be tested by Winthrop sharp-shooters Michael Jenkins and Torrell Martin. Both make over 39% on deep tosses and also beat teams off the dribble.
What makes Winthrop different and why other Cinderella’s are normally successful, is an inside game to go along with outside shooters. 6’10 Craig Bradshaw and 6’8 Phillip Williams are both seniors and have plenty of experience banging. Having played competitive games with North Carolina and Wisconsin and beaten Mississippi State, ODU and Missouri State, the Eagles might be ready to soar.
Notre Dame has a long history of success on the road and presumably knows all about the skill of Winthrop. The Fighting Irish are 22-7 ATS in road games versus good teams outscoring their opponents by 8+ points a game after 15+ games. The Golden Domers are now 3.5-point favorites at sportsbook.com.
After yesterday’s favorite success, perhaps Notre Dame will continue to carry the proverbial chip on its shoulder today.
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