Does Notre Dame Have Any Chance Against Duke in ACC Opener?

By Trevor Lowry
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Duke Blue Devils both entered the season with pretty high expectations, but Duke is the only one out of the two meeting those expectations. Notre Dame is without its best player –for good– and is the underdog in this game, so does it have any chance in this ACC opener?

Here is the good news: the Fighting Irish will be at home in this one. That is where the good news stops, though.

This team is not going to be able to fully recover from the loss of Jerian Grant. He was averaging 19 points per game and 6.2 assists per game.

Duke is ranked in the top 10 and is on a five-game winning streak. The Blue Devils also have two of the best players in the country in Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. They have beaten UCLA and Michigan on the year and their only losses have come against Arizona and Kansas.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, has lost to Indiana State, Iowa, North Dakota State and Ohio State. Its best win on the season was against Indiana, who already has four losses.

Upsets happen from time to time, but Duke is playing very good basketball right now.

This is the first conference game for both teams, so I am sure the Blue Devils will come out firing on all cylinders. They are very tough to beat when that is the case.

As much as I would like to say Notre Dame will be fine without Grant, I would just be kidding myself if I did so.

The Fighting Irish may keep it close in the first half, but the Blue Devils should have no problem pulling away in the second half.

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