What We Learned: Notre Dame VS Virginia

Virginia (15-3, 5-2 ACC), ranked 12th in Monday's AP poll, play at No. 14 Notre Dame tonight and at No. 1 Villanova on Sunday afternoon in a sold-out arena in Philadelphia. Both the Cavaliers and Irish are 6-2 in ACC conference play this year, tied for third place. Are we peaking ahead to February, when the madness really begins on the way to March? "We can't be nonchalant in the first four minutes, because if we get punched in the mouth on the road, it's way harder to come back".

Notre Dame trailed 27-26 at the half and looked poised to pull off the upset over the slightly-favored Cavs.

Perrantes hit two shots with under five seconds left on the shot clock to spark Virginia's offense, and the Cavaliers maintained the lead for most of the first half. "We had to make some shots over the top of that (Syracuse) zone to be successful, and you have to make some shots over the top of (Virginia's) defense to be successful". "He obviously helps this team go and he's a big part of our offense, and we need him to keep scoring and keep attacking the rest of the season". "I think we play a little bit better on the road", senior point guard London Perrantes said Saturday. The Irish were cutting it close in the final minutes, but, knowing what's on the line (I assume), Notre Dame kept it to just under 55, taking the 71-54 loss. U.Va. has held seven of its last 10 opponents under 45.2 percent shooting from the floor.

"It's the first time we've had our butts kicked, which is good", Brey said.

GREENSBORO COLLEGE 65, METHODIST 56: Monica Smalls scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Greensboro College past Methodist. Notre Dame was outrebounded, 38-22 - its largest deficit of the season - and made just 3 of 18 from beyond the arc.

I am not going to over react to one game.

Brey went to his four-guard lineup for much of the second half, sacrificing size and rebounding for a potential offensive spark. "And what happens is they took advantage of us on the backboard there". Also key for the Cavaliers were free-throws: Virginia did not make it to the line in the first half, but shot 12-for-14 in the second period.

Virginia appeared to be a complete team in the second half behind offensive sparks from the bench, as freshman guard Ty Jerome entered the game to score eight points in 14 minutes. "I think that showed against Syracuse", Vasturia said.

Virginia of late seemingly has had Notre Dame's number.

The Virginia Cavaliers take their nation's-best scoring defense and four-game winning streak on the road this week, in a pair of matchups with Top-25 teams. "You'd like to try to get some things in transition, so you don't have to play against that set defense all the time".