Can Fort Wayne Run the State?

In less than two weeks, Indiana’s four major conference teams will meet in Indy for the Crossroads Classic.  While all four “power” Indiana teams find themselves in this week’s Top 25, Fort Wayne and Valpo (who both received votes in the AP poll) may petition for a third game in Indy on December 17.  Having already beaten the highest ranked team in the state, the Mastodons come to South Bend looking to take down another ranked in-state opponent.

Five Things to Know About Fort Wayne

1. After starting 1-2, the Mastodons have reeled off six in a row, including the 71-68 overtime win over IU.  In their most recent 16-point win over Miami (Ohio), FW held their top two scorers to a combined 7-31 shooting.  The Mastodons’ two losses?  On the road at Arkansas and at Illinois State (by 18).

2. Fort Wayne’s leading scorer at 18 a game, Mo Evans, is shooting an excellent 54.7% (29-53) from deep through nine games.  However, he only shot 4-15, and 1-8 from three against the Hoosiers.  Evans also averages 6.3 assists per game.

3. John Konchar is a solid all-around basketball player.  The sophomore from Chicago filled the stat sheet against IU, with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.  He played all 45 minutes in the OT win, and don’t expect him to sit tomorrow either.  Konchar also can take it to the tin.

4. Bryson Scott transferred from Purdue after two seasons. Smart man.  The 6’1 junior also put up a double double against the Hoosiers (18 and 12).  Scott averages 17 a game.

5. There shouldn’t be a shortage of points tomorrow night, as Fort Wayne is 11th in the nation in scoring (88.7 ppg).  The Irish are 10th (89.1 ppg).

The Mastodons are also tied for eighth in the country in FG percentage at 50.9%.

Time/TV

9 p.m. EST / ESPNU

Spread

Notre Dame -13.5 (It would be surprising if this doesn’t go down to about 11 by tip)

Prediction

So Fort Wayne beat Indiana, Matt Norlander thinks the Irish are overrated, and ND is a double-digit favorite.  While that’s a ton of points to give a solid team, Vegas wants the action on the Mastodons.

Irish 93 Fort Wayne 76

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