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Around the League - Big Monday

Major game of note tonight in South Bend, where the recently vanquished Wildcats of Villanova take on the desperate Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

At stake for Nova is a chance to jump into the top 4 spots in the conference standings and earn a vaunted 'double bye' in the BET next week.

At stake for the Irish is much much more. Villanova represents ND's final chance to make a statement to the Selection Committee, as the Irish finish its season with St. John's this weekend.
Currently, ND is 15-12 (7-9). A win over Nova gives ND a chance to finish with 17 wins and .500 in the conference. Though its RPI is 69 v Georgetown's 40, that head-to-head win over us might loom large come 3/15 should ND notch another win v a top 25 opponent tonight. An ND loss likely dooms its Dance chances save for a remarkable run in the BET, as the best it can finish the regular season would be 16-13 (8-10) with an unimpressive RPI and SOS.

Currently, ND is favored by 3 in this one, which means it's pretty much a 'pick 'em' with ND getting 3 points for its homecourt advantage. I think ND looked pretty good in the loss to UConn on Saturday, and I see them pulling this one out as well, especially given the way Nova looked against the Hoyas.

The pick: Irish -3.