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From Most likely upsets in the Southwest by Peter Keating & Jordan Brenner (ESPN Insider)

In the "Worth a Long Look" section:

No. 15 Akron (15.9 Giant Killer score, on a 100-point scale) vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (50.9 Vulnerability score)

UPSET CHANCE: 14.1 percent

Insert your own Zips joke here, but Notre Dame bears cringe-worthy similarities to past teams that have slipped up early. Only eight squads in the country forced fewer turnovers on a per-possession basis than the Fighting Irish. And they don't just struggle to guard the deep ball (opponents shoot 35 percent from long range); they're also getting smashed under the basket, scoring 1.62 fewer points per 100 possessions than opponents on 2-pointers. While that's all enough to get our model worried, however, Akron doesn't have the look of a classic Killer. The Zips are poor offensive rebounders (ORs on just 28.6 percent of misses, ranking 288th in the NCAA) and don't force many turnovers, so they can't generate the extra possessions that fuel most upsets. They do shoot it well from long-distance, generating 33.8 percent of their offense from 3-pointers. But they just don't have much else to fall back on against the Irish. The deep shot will have to carry Akron if they want to take advantage of a prime opportunity against a team waiting to be ... Zipped.

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UPSET CHANCE: 14.1 percent
I put it at 16.6 on Sunday. I'll stand by that.

I think there are a few different ways the Zips can upset ND. I don't think there is one.

But Zeke will be a BIG part of it if we are able to pull it out. I think ND knows that

and they will go after him to try to get him into foul trouble early.

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ND runs a motion offense. The Zips need to take away passing lanes while guarding the perimeter to shut it down. On offense we need to work the ball inside and be physical, while hoping at least two of our guards are hot.

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ND runs a motion offense. The Zips need to take away passing lanes while guarding the perimeter to shut it down. On offense we need to work the ball inside and be physical, while hoping at least two of our guards are hot.

For those who know basketball better than I, it'll be tough to both guard the perimeter hard and keep an eye open for backdoor cuts, right?

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The protection against the backdoor cuts will hopefully be a skilled shot blocker patrolling the paint. I look for the Zips to press the perimeter and try and bother the outside shooters. ND scores more efficiently outside than in, generally.

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It will come down to our outside shooting, and ND will have to be a bit off. Period.

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On defense, Zeke should never leave the paint. Ever. No matter what happens he can't let them draw him out.

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On defense, Zeke should never leave the paint. Ever. No matter what happens he can't let them draw him out.

Right. I was reading one pregame synopsis & the analyst thought ND's forwards would try to lure Zeke away from the basket & then take him off the dribble - in hopes of getting Zeke into foul trouble. Can't let that happen if we have any hope of winning this game.

I guess we've got to simply allow them to step away from the basket & if they kill us w/ 10-foot jump shots, so-be-it.

Also, I still HATE it when Zeke comes out to help @ the top of the key outside the 3-point line. I really just don't get that strategy @ all. But, like I always say, I'm basically a basketball 101 guy, so I trust KD & the coaching staff.

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I trust KD & staff too, but.....I don't want to see a repeat of the debacle @Can't where we get continuously beat down off the dribble. Make them beat us with outside shots rather than layups. Contrary to popular opinion, the United Center is not their home floor. The game could come down to other things like turnovers, rebounding and <ahem> blocked shots. I love that 44 is getting to try on another nba arena for size :) Maybe one day soon we can have a thread for Zips hoops players in the pros.

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