Notre Dame vs. Rutgers preview: Irish looking for answers in Big East Tournament

USA TODAY Sports

After picking up a 5OT win against Louisville in February, Notre Dame has hit the skids in the final month of the season.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face Rutgers on Wednesday night to kick off their Big East Tournament. For the Irish, the conference tournament represents a chance to get back on track this season.

After knocking off Louisville in five overtimes a month ago, Notre Dame has dropped three of their last seven games. One of those wins came against the league's worst team, DePaul, in overtime.

The Irish have done enough throughout the season to warrant a bid to the NCAA Tournament, although a strong showing at Madison Square Garden this week would be big for their seeding.

Earlier this season, Notre Dame held off Rutgers at home to win 69-66. It was not a pretty performance, but one that got the job done early in conference season. ND is favored by 7.5 points tonight.

Fatigue could play a factor for Rutgers. They will be playing their second game in 24 hours after knocking off DePaul in the first round. If the Scarlet Knights are going to pull the upset, two things must happen: they must avoid turning the ball over, and Myles Mack, the team's leading scorer, must hit some big shots down the stretch.

According to Kenpom's efficiency ratings, Notre Dame should have little trouble with Rutgers. The Irish are ranked as the 33rd best team in the country, while the Knights are 104th thanks to a mediocre defense.

Tipoff from Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will televise the action.

More in College Basketball:

The latest Bracketology

Tracking March Madness automatic bids

Full coverage of the Big East Tournament

Richard Pitino makes his own name

Projecting the bracket with Easy Bubble Solver

Full coverage of the Big Ten Tournament

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