Kentucky Wildcats vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Tip-off: Thursday, November 29, 2012 – 7:00 PM ET
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, South Bend, IN
YouWager line movers know that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey has his own one-and-done plan when it comes to No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats.
The coach wants to limit the number of offensive rebounds Kentucky gets, but it was an really fitting choice of words considering the opponent. The game tonight pits two programs that have starkly different ways of thinking.
The Fighting Irish (6-1) have five starters back from 2011’s college basketball team, two seniors — including sixth-year player Scott Martin — two juniors and a sophomore. The Wildcats, known for coach John Calipari’s acceptance of one-and-done players, is expected to start three freshmen, a sophomore and a transfer. Kentucky (4-1) lost six players from last year’s national championship team, which saw four players drafted in the first round and two more in the second round.
That’s close to the number of players the Fighting Irish have had drafted the past two decades combined. There will be close to 30 NBA scouts at the game, and most are expected to be watching the Wildcats.
Brey would like for the team’s experience to be an advantage, saying it’s what Notre Dame has depended on since he arrived in 2000.
The Wildcats junior forward Jon Hood said Kentucky knows great players aren’t going to stay in college.
The Fighting Irish are 40-1 in their last 41 home games and 105-7 at home overall since the start of the 2006-07 season. The streak includes wins over then-No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in 2006, No. 5 Louisville Cardinals in 2009 and against top-ranked Syracuse Orange last basketball season.
Notre Dame has been playing pretty unnoticeable for most of the season, with their own online wagering fans focused on the top-ranked Irish basketball team. However, with the basketball team on a six-week break waiting for the BCS title game, the basketball players are hoping an enthusiastic crowd will show up for the Wildcats game.
The Wildcats are 11-1 in the past 12 games against the Irish since 1990.