There’s no question that both No.2 Duke and No.11 Notre Dame will make the 2015 NCAA Tournament, and are all but guaranteed to have one of the highest seeds in their respective regions. But a lot remains on the line when the two teams meet in Friday’s ACC Tournament semifinal, as they look to give themselves the easiest possible road to the Final Four.
Duke has been pegged as the team most likely to prevent unbeaten Kentucky from winning the national championship. If they win on Friday, they could potentially clinch a No.1 seed in the field of 68, even if they were to lose in the ACC Championship Game. The Blue Devils defeated North Carolina State by 24 points on Thursday.
Notre Dame might not have a chance to land a No.1 seed, but an ACC Championship might give them a No.2 seed. They topped Miami, 70-63, in their first game of the conference tournament. All five Notre Dame starters ended the game in double-figures.
The two teams met twice in the regular season with very different results. Duke’s last defeat came on Jan. 28 when they lost by four points in South Bend. Jerami Grant helped the Fighting Irish pull off the upset, leading Notre Dame with 23 points and 12 assists, adding six rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Notre Dame caught Duke at the right time, handing the Blue Devils their third loss in six games. Those were Duke’s only three losses in the season, and they’ve since won 12 consecutive games, including a blowout victory over the Fighting Irish. Mike Krzyzewski's squad trounced Notre Dame, 90-60, led by 20 points and 10 rebounds from superstar center Jahlil Okafor.
Start Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Point Spread: Duke favored by 7 points
Over/Under: 151.5 points
Prediction: Duke over Notre Dame, 82-72