Notre Dame was unable to play its first ACC home game of the season on New Year’s Day as planned. Blame a COVID-19 outbreak in Duke’s program for that. The opener finally will come Wednesday against North Carolina.
After getting off to a 3-4 start, the Irish have won four of their past five games. That gives them a 7-5 overall record, and a strong showing in conference play would be crucial to their NCAA Tournament hopes. Their 1-1 ACC record easily could have been 0-2 but for Prentiss Hubb’s basket in the final seconds against Pittsburgh. That obviously doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but maybe the extra time off will do them some good.
Two streaks will be put on the line for this game. The Irish have won six in a row at Purcell Pavilion going back to last season. Meanwhile, Dane Goodwin has not scored below double digits in the Irish’s 12 games this season. The Tar Heels, one of the better teams in the conference, will provide a tough test to keep both streaks alive.