Our regular Monday morning look at Notre Dame’s upcoming schedule and the rest of the Big East for the week of January 11 through January 17. The Irish are 14-3 on the season, and 3-1 overall in Big East play.
ND Week in Review: The listed goal on this website was a 1-1 split, with the Irish expected to earn a road win in Tampa vs. South Florida and likely incur a tough loss to No. 8 West Virginia in South Bend Saturday night. The Irish instead pulled out two last minute victories, defeating the Bulls 74-73 (after blowing an 11-point second half lead) Tuesday, and the Mountaineers, 70-68 (after leading by 20 at the half).
For a recap of either contest, click the links below:
Irish 70 Mountaineers 68.
Irish 74 Bulls 73.
On Tap for the Irish
Saturday, January 16 at Cincinnati (2-2): Notre Dame has seven days to rest and prepare for the Bearcats, a squad that returns the bulk of its roster that downed the Irish 93-83 early last February. Cincinnati owns conference wins vs. Connecticut and at Rutgers, but also dropped a close home decision to Pittsburgh and was upset on Saturday, 83-76 at Seton Hall.
The Bearcats boast the Big East’s best freshman, 6’5” swingman Lance Stephenson.
Note: College basketball’s latest poll will be available Monday evening. Expect Villanova, Syracuse, and Georgetown to rise; West Virginia and Connecticut to drop; and Pittsburgh to join the Top 20.
- Monday, January 11: No. 6 Villanova (3-0) at Louisville (3-0)
- Wednesday, January 13: No. 7 Syracuse (2-1) at Rutgers (0-3)
- Wednesday, January 13: No. 8 West Virginia (2-1) at South Florida (0-3)
- Wednesday, January 13: Pittsburgh (3-0) at No. 13 Connecticut (2-2)
- Wednesday, January 13: Cincinnati (2-2) at St. John’s (0-3)
- Thursday, January 14: Seton Hall (1-3) at Georgetown (3-1)
- Thursday, January 14: Providence (2-2) at DePaul (0-3)
- Saturday, January 16: No. 7 Syracuse (2-1) at No. 8 West Virginia (2-1)
- Saturday, January 16: Louisville (3-0) at Pittsburgh (3-0)
- Saturday, January 16: Notre Dame (3-1) at Cincinnati (2-2)
- Saturday, January 16: Rutgers (0-3) at South Florida (0-3)
- Sunday, January 17: No. 12 Georgetown (2-1) at No. 6 Villanova (3-0)
- Sunday, January 17: DePaul (0-3) at St. John’s (0-3)
- Sunday, January 17: Providence (2-2) at Marquette (1-3)
- Sunday, January 17: No. 13 Connecticut at Michigan
Games to Watch for Irish fans: Pittsburgh at Connecticut – The Panthers were picked to finish just below the Irish in the pre-season conference polls, but a win at Connecticut would place the Panthers at 4-0 and drop the Huskies, who the Irish will rematch on senior day in March, to an early 2-3 hole with three difficult road matchups (Louisville, Syracuse, and Villanova) and three tough home tilts (Marquette, West Virginia, Louisville) before the date in South Bend.
Syracuse at West Virginia – Morgantown will be rocking for a matchup of two of the most athletic teams in the nation. Notre Dame entertains the Orange 48 hours later on ESPN’s Big Monday in South Bend.
Game of the Week: Georgetown at Villanova – Two upwardly mobile teams in the national polls will clash in this old school Big East rivalry on Saturday. Villanova has two tough tests this week (at Louisville on Wednesday) and then consecutive road tilts vs. conference cellar dwellers before hosting the Irish at the Wachovia Center in late January.
Team on the Brink: Cincinnati – A two-game (conference) losing skid and now a road game at Madison Square Garden followed by a home tilt with the Irish. The Bearcats will be favored in both, and at 2-2, will likely need a sweep to maintain positive momentum heading into the bulk of the Conference schedule.
Last week’s “Team on the Brink” was Marquette, and the Golden Eagles kept their hopes afloat with a home win over Georgetown before dropping a heartbreaker at Villanova.
Upset Alert: For lack of a better choice – Notre Dame at Cincinnati. The Irish are the worst road team among NCAA contenders in the conference, and will be slight underdogs in this Queen City matchup, set for a 4 PM (ET) Saturday on ESPNU.
Current Big East Standings (as of January 11)
- Villanova: 3-0 (14-1)
- Pittsburgh: 3-0 (13-2)
- Louisville: 3-0 (12-4)
- Georgetown 3-1 (12-2)
- Notre Dame: 3-1 (14-3)
- West Virginia: 3-1 (12-2)
- Syracuse: 2-1 (15-1)
- Connecticut: 2-2 (11-4)
- Cincinnati: 2-2 (11-5)
- Providence: 2-2 (10-6)
- Seton Hall: 1-3 (10-5)
- Marquette: 1-3 (10-6)
- South Florida: 0-3 (10-5)
- St. John’s: 0-3 (10-5)
- Rutgers: 0-3 (9-6)
- DePaul: 0-3 (7-8)