Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 94 of 113

MEN'S BASKETBALL BY JORDAN WELLS R eturning three starters from last year 's 32‑6 Irish squad, h e a d c o a c h M i k e B re y ' s 2015‑16 team is predicted to finish anywhere from fourth to sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference, behind a consensus top tier of North Carolina, Duke and Virginia. If that happens — despite a non‑ conference schedule without many land mines — Notre Dame's overall win total will end up closer to 20 than the 32 it reached last season. Notre Dame faces two of the three in that top tier — Duke and Virginia — on the road. In addition, the Irish will travel to Florida State and Syr‑ acuse, and have a home‑and‑home with Miami. The latter three schools are predicted to finish in the same range as Notre Dame in the confer‑ ence. Here's a look at Notre Dame's com‑ plete schedule broken down into clear‑ cut gimmies (Must Haves), toss‑ups (Bubble Games) and matchups that require an Irish upset (Steals). MUST HAVES For Notre Dame to reach at least 20 wins before postseason play and se‑ cure good NCAA Tournament seed‑ ing, it cannot let any of these contests slip away, or one at the most. The Irish will be considered heavy favorites in all of these non‑conference games, and favorites in these ACC games. Non-conference (8): St. Francis (16‑16 last season), Milwaukee (14‑16), UMass Lowell (12‑17), Monmouth (18‑15), Stony Brook (23‑12), Loyola Chicago (24‑13), Youngstown State (11‑21) and Liberty (8‑24). ACC (6): At Boston College (13‑19), Pitt (19‑15), Georgia Tech (12‑19), Virginia Tech (11‑22), Boston College (13‑19) and Wake Forest (13‑19). A sneaky upset pick could be Stony Must Haves, Bubbles And Steals The Irish are aiming for 20-plus wins for the ninth time in 10 seasons

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