Kentucky vs. Notre Dame Elite 8 Preview & Prediction

Kentucky has cruised to the Elite 8, dominating Hampton, Cincinnati, and West Virginia, while Notre Dame had close victories over Northeastern and Butler before dominating Wichita State.

Projected Starting Lineups

(1) Kentucky Wildcats (37-0, 18-0 in SEC)

G Andrew Harrison (So.) – 11.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg

G Aaron Harrison (So.) – 8.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg

F Trey Lyles (Fr.) – 7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg

F Karl-Anthony Towns (Fr.) – 9.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg

C Willie Cauley-Stein (Jr.) – 9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

(3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (32-5, 14-4 in ACC)

G Demetrius Jackson (So.) –12.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg

G Jerian Grant (Sr.) – 16.7 ppg, 6.6 apg

G Steve Vasturia (So.) – 9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg

G Pat Connaughton (Sr.) – 12.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg

F Zach Auguste (Jr.) – 12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg

What to watch for:

Notre Dame's Outside Shooting

Kentucky is the biggest team in the country, and no one is going to be able to beat them inside. Notre Dame utilizes a four guard lineup designed to space the floor to create driving lanes and open shooters – the kind of system that plays towards Kentucky’s weaknesses. The Wildcats’ closest victories were against Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Florida, and Georgia, all of whom were also perimeter-oriented teams. The only chance the Irish have in this one is if they get hot from the outside and put pressure on Kentucky to score.

Kentucky's intensity level

There aren’t many flaws with this Kentucky squad, but the one alarming thing we’ve seen from them is a lack of intensity against teams they know they can beat. After dominating West Virginia the way they did in the Sweet 16, the Wildcats need to be careful not to think too far ahead.

Prediction: Kentucky wins 76-65

Notre Dame has a chance to hang with the Wildcats with their elite outside shooting, but Kentucky's guards are pretty good themselves. Couple that with UK's plethora of skilled big men, and they'll be the ones moving on to the Final Four.

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