Ever since college basketball experts began make their early predictions for the 2021-22 season, Notre Dame often has been included. Joe Lunardi of ESPN still has the Irish in his Bracketology. Now, Jon Rothstein of College Hoops Today is ranking the Irish 44th in the upcoming season’s first edition of the Rothstein 45.
Notre Dame is the ACC team ranked lowest in this installment. Florida State and Duke have the conference’s best rankings at 13th and 14th, respectively. Virginia Tech and North Carolina are next to each other with respective rankings of 20th and 21st. They’re followed by Virginia (24th), Syracuse (26th), Georgia Tech (28th) and Louisville (43rd).
Yale transfer Paul Atkinson is expected to crack the Irish’s starting lineup, and the only losses are Juwan Durham and Nikola Djogo, the latter of whom transferred to Northeastern for his final year of eligibility. With the Irish’s core remaining almost intact, it’s hard to imagine another season together won’t work wonders.