It is Senior Day for Wake Forest (11-17, 4-12), as the Deacs will try to win back-to-back conference games for the first time this season when it welcomes Notre Dame (16-12, 6-9) to the LJVM.
The game will tipoff at 3 PM and will air on the ACC Network.
The Fighting Irish have had a ton of injuries this season, and that has led to a lot of close losses. Bonzie Colson was initially slated to come back today against the Deacs, but fortunately he will need a little more time to get back into the lineup, which is a nice break for Wake.
Notre Dame is a bit of a longshot at this point to make the Tournament, but should it knock off Wake, Pitt, and UVA in its final three games then it could have an interesting case come Selection Sunday.
Before the game Wake Forest will honor all of the seniors affiliated with the program, and that will, interestingly enough, include redshirt junior Keyshawn Woods. Although Wake Forest downplayed this development citing that he was on pace to graduate this season, I have a pretty good feeling that this may in fact be Woods last home game. No inside information there, but the answers from Wake and the interview with Woods do not instill confidence that he will be returning next year.
Aside from Colson the Irish are led in scoring by Matt Farrell, who has battled injuries himself throughout the year. He averages 17 PPG and 5.5 APG in 23 games.
6-10 senior Martinas Geben will be a fun matchup inside with Doral Moore, as both are high efficiency scorers and love to dunk the ball.
Despite the record, Notre Dame is still 31st in KenPom, boasting the 24th best offense and the 64th best defense in the nation. While KP doesn’t account for injuries on the surface, Colson has been out for so long that ND is basically who they are at this point. The Irish were 10-3 when Colson went down, but were just 24th in KP, so the drop-off hasn’t been that much honestly.
KP has Notre Dame as a 74-72 favorite, while Vegas is effectively a toss-up, ranging from a 1 point favorite on either side to a “pick-em”. This should be a close game and come down to the wire. The good news is that somebody has to win the game and both have experienced a lot of close losses this season. ND ranks 332nd nationally in “Luck” factor, while Wake Forest ranks 346th. Basically this means that both teams should have a much better record than they do, but have lost most of their close games.
Overall I think Wake Forest is able to pull this one out and finally win consecutive games. I don’t know that ND has an answer for Moore inside, and the Deacs have been playing a lot smarter over the past couple of weeks. If it can keep up the disciplined, intelligent play then Wake can get a win on Senior Day to send everybody out on the right note.