[12:05 PM] #1 Villanova v. #23 Notre Dame

Who will WIN this matchup?

#1 Villanova Wildcats (9-0)

#23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0)


The line for this game is Villanova by 6 points.

Villanova has only faced one ranked team during its 9-0 start, but it will be staring in the mirror at another ranked 9-0 opponent Saturday when it faces No. 22 Notre Dame in an afternoon affair. The former Big East rivals will convene in Newark, N.J., where the top-ranked Wildcats are looking for their 16th straight win, which would match a school record.

The Wildcats’ top five scorers all shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range, led by Kris Jenkins (26 3-pointers) and Hart (18). In Tuesday’s 10-point win against La Salle, Jalen Brunson scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Hart chipped in 21 points and eight boards. The team committed only six turnovers versus La Salle and will need to take care of the ball again Saturday in order to keep pace with the high-scoring Fighting Irish.

The Irish have to be thrilled with the play of junior forward Bonzie Colson (17.1 points, 11.1 rebounds), who has posted six consecutive double-doublers and also is now a 3-point threat. He drained three 3-pointers against Fort Wayne and already has eight 3s this season after draining a total of five in 19 attempts during his freshman and sophomore seasons. V.J. Beachem (16.8 points), Steve Vasturia (16.4) and Matt Farrell (12.4) provide additional support for the 10th-ranked offense in the nation (88.9 points).

Villanova held a 13-6 series edge against Notre Dame when both teams were in the Big East from 1995-2013. The Wildcats hold an 18-16 edge in the all-time series.

The Wildcats have outrebounded their opponent in six straight games. Hart, a guard, leads the team with 6.7 rebounds per game.

Colson has made 44-of-48 free throws, including 16 straight over the last three games.

StreakSmarts Pick: Villanova Wildcats

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick