Let's start with the obvious: this is a difficult game. Notre Dame has a .786 winning percentage under Mike Brey at home. They haven't lost as home since February 6, 2006. Pomeroy's model predicts a 77-60 ND win and only a 6% chance of a UC victory. He has Notre Dame as the 23 best team in the country and Cincinnati at 115.
Here's the scouting report on ND.
69 possessions per 40 minutes puts them at 134th in the country. They play slightly faster than average, but nothing too extreme. However, they're 26th in (adjusted) offensive efficiency and 37th on the defensive side. They're deadly from downtown with a 41% shooting percentage, but they don't take too many 3's. They're defense is, on the other hand, great at defending 2 point field goals (40% -- 9th in the nation), but much more susceptible from long range (35%). We'll see if Cincinnati looks to get up a lot of 3 pointers, as they have been recently.
Anyway, Harangody's the big threat inside (and he takes 35% of their shots). Ayers and McAlarney are the 3 point specialists. Kurz can also score it and Jackson, the point guard, has the 61st best assist rate in the country.
They're a tough team and we'll have our hands full ... but, with this team, you never know. Vaughn and Gentry need to be dialed in from deep. Let's go Cincinnati!
(as a side note, I'm not sure if this one's on espn2 or espnu yet ... hopefully it's on the deuce).