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Notre Dame (15-15) at (14) North Carolina (22-7)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, March 3, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: ESPN. Home Record: UND 13-6, UNC 14-3. Away Record: UND 1-8, UNC 6-4. Neutral Record: UND 1-1, UNC 2-0. Conference Record: UND 6-11, UNC 12-4. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 17-4.

GAME NOTES: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish put the wraps on the 2013-14 regular season when they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Smith Center on Monday night.

Notre Dame's first season as a member of the ACC hasn't gone quite according to plan, as Mike Brey's club comes into this finale sporting a 15-15 overall record, which includes a 6-11 league ledger. The Fighting Irish dropped an 85-81 overtime decision at home to Pittsburgh on Saturday, marking the team's third loss in the last four games. Brey's next win will be the 400th of his career.

North Carolina is playing its final home game of the campaign tonight, and it close out the regular season this Saturday at bitter rival Duke. The Tar Heels, who are tied with the Blue Devils with a conference mark of 12-4 heading into the week, have built up a serious head of steam in recent weeks, as Roy Williams' squad has reeled off 11 straight wins, the most recent of which occurring this past Saturday in a 60-56 decision at Virginia Tech.

North Carolina claimed a 73-62 win at Notre Dame on Feb. 8 in the first meeting between these new conference rivals this season, extending its lead in the all-time series to 17-4 in the process.

Putting points on the board hasn't really been an issue for Notre Dame this season, as the team ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (72.4 ppg), while checking in fifth in both field goal percentage (.457) and 3-point field goal percentage (.361). They are the second-best squad in terms of assist-to- turnover ratio (1.5), and they are third in assists (15.4 apg). Unfortunately, the Irish have faltered on defense quite often, as they surrender 70.5 ppg to rank 13th in the 15-team league. Their average yield on field goal allowance (.446) ranks 14th, and their effort defending the 3-pointer (.383) has them dead last.

At present, there are three double-digit scorers on the roster for Notre Dame, as Eric Atkins (13.7 ppg, 4.8 apg), Garrick Sherman (13.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Pat Connaughton (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) do their best to help the Irish compete on a nightly basis. Connaughton hit for 19 points, Atkins had 17 to go with nine assists, and Steve Vasturia 15 for UND in its recent overtime loss to Pittsburgh. The trio combined for eight of the team's 12 3-pointers, and the Irish shot 54.8 percent from the field for the game, while going 23-of-27 at the free-throw line. Unfortunately, the Panthers hit a few more field goals, went 24-of-28 at the charity stripe, easily won the rebounding battle (38-22), and took advantage of 16 UND turnovers (17 points).

North Carolina's 11-game win streak is its longest since 2008 when it won 13 straight, and it's been more than a decade (2001-01) since the Tar Heels won at least that many in a row against ACC foes. UNC boasts four double-digit scorers in Marcus Paige (17.2 ppg), James M. McAdoo (14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg), Leslie McDonald (11.0 ppg) and Brice Johnson (10.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Paige, who also serves as the team's primary playmaker (130 assists) as well as its top 3-point shooter (71-of-179, .397), currently ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring. North Carolina is the second-highest scoring team in the league (76.7 ppg), but it ranks in the bottom half with regard to scoring defense (68.1 ppg, 10th). Despite their solid offensive numbers, the Heels are last in the league in free throw percentage (.626).

North Carolina put forth a lackluster offensive effort in its recent win at Virginia Tech, as the team shot just 41.8 percent from the field, missing 12 of its 17 3-point tries along the way, as well as half of its free throws (9- of-18). The Tar Heels did play solid defense though, holding the Hokies to 35.6 percent field goal efficiency, which included a 7-of-24 showing from beyond the arc. McAdoo paced the unit with 15 points, while McDonald added 14 and J.P. Tokoto a dozen for the winning side.

UNC has clinched a top-four seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament, but you just know the Heels want to keep the good times rolling as they stare down Duke this weekend, and head into the postseason with their winning streak in tact. The Irish are sure to put up a fight, but they're likely to come up well short of the upset.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 75, Notre Dame 66

03/03 12:14:57 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd Intermission
CHI 4
CAR 0
 
2nd
SAV 40
NCCU 54
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
4th
MIA 96
PHO 85
 
4th
MIN 93
LAC 100
 
3rd
DAL 71
NOP 60
 
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
 
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
3rd
HOW 55
NORST 55
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
1st OT
NO 76
NICST 83
 
2nd
SAV 40
NCCU 54
 
2nd
ALAAM 47
TXSOU 49
 
2nd
VT 30
BC 48
 
2nd
MVSU 33
GRAM 29
 
2nd
ISU 22
OKLA 39
 
2nd
ALAST 34
PVU 33
 
1st
ARKPB 29
JST 29
 
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
2nd Intermission
CHI 4
CAR 0
 
1st
SJS 0
MON 0