There are two more First Four games on Wednesday, as the Bryant Bulldogs and Wright State Raiders meet in the early matchup, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Rutgers Scarlet Knights meet later in the evening. Both games are at the University of Dayton at UD Arena.
We’re playing the nightcap game between Notre Dame and Rutgers. This should be an intriguing matchup between two teams on the bubble for a while.
With news that @NDmbb was going dancing in the First Four, Mike Brey declared the beginning of spring.
Notre Dame is set for its matchup with Rutgers. pic.twitter.com/TCWVOlAszo
— March Madness Men’s Basketball TV (@MM_MBB_TV) March 16, 2022
Some people would argue that Notre Dame and Rutgers belong in the NIT. Rutgers at 18-13 doesn’t have the best of records in the country, but their strength of schedule helps.
Playing in the Big Ten against many tournament teams helps put Rutgers on a higher pedestal than others, including the Texas A&M Aggies.
There could be some debate that Texas A&M deserved to get into the NCAA Tournament instead of Rutgers. If the Scarlet Knights struggle in this one, that could be true. However, I have better aspirates for the Knights.
— Rutgers Basketball ? (@RutgersMBB) March 16, 2022
Notre Dame had a decent season with a record of 22-10. They went 15-5 in the ACC for a respectable campaign. However, both of these teams haven’t been in the best shape recently. Rutgers have lost four of their previous six attempts, and Notre Dame is a loser in three of their last six outings.
The Fighting Irish are coming off an 87-80 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first-round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday. That was a quick stay for Notre Dame in the conference tournament. Conversely, Rutgers lost their first-round matchup as well, an 84-74 loss to a good Hawkeyes squad.
Head below for our free Notre Dame vs. Rutgers prediction on March 16, 2022.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-1 (-110)||OFF||Over 134 (-110)|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||+1 (-110)||OFF||Under 134 (-110)|
|Team Data||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Rutgers Scarlet Knights|
|Points Per Game||72.3||67.7|
|Points Against Per Game||66.2||65.2|
|Field Goal %||46.0||44.2|
|Three Point %||38.0||33.8|
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers Prediction:
We have seen Rutgers play well when they’re operating at their full potential. Rutgers went on a nice run from February 5 to February 16 with a four-game winning streak against Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Those were some impressive wins for Rutgers, as they beat up on some of the best teams in the Big Ten as an underdog. One win was on the road at Wisconsin, 73-65, and then followed up without a letdown against Illinois, 70-59.
In their next three games, Rutgers fell off but returned to form at Indiana, 66-63, and then 59-58 over Penn State. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough in the tank versus Iowa. They should have a better chance versus Notre Dame tonight, though.
The Scarlet Knights went 8-6 versus tournament teams this season. That’s fine, but the real concern for Notre Dame is that they are only 3-6 versus tournament teams. Note that two of those losses were against Indiana and Illinois from the Big Ten.
Rutgers beat both of those teams, 70-59 and 66-63 within the last month since February 16. They have a defense that should be able to give Notre Dame some problems.
Notre Dame should be containable for Rutgers here. The Scarlet Knights are 62nd in the NCAA with 65.2 points against per game and 41.2% against defensively. They did this versus some very good offenses in the Big Ten.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Betting Trends:
- 1-7 ATS in their previous eight games on a neutral court
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games
- 2-8 ATS in their previous ten games in the NCAA Tournament as a betting favorite
- 4-13 ATS in their previous 17 games versus Rutgers
- 0-7 overall in their previous seven games versus the Big Ten
- 9-2 ATS in their previous 11 games as an underdog
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games after a double-digit loss at home
- 5-2-1 ATS in their previous eight games versus a team with a winning percentage better than 60%
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games versus the ACC
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games on a Wednesday
Rutgers will lean on their defense in this one, which should be successful versus a spotty Fighting Irish offense. Notre Dame is 147th in the NCAA with 72.3 points per game and a 46% field goal percentage.
The Scarlet Knights have had to deal with better offenses in the Big Ten and handled it pretty well. Notre Dame likely won’t be completely locked down for less than 60 points, but a 71-66 or 69-65 win for Rutgers looks about right.
In the last First Four game of the NCAA Tournament, I’m backing Rutgers to come out on top over Notre Dame tonight.