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2019 Women’s Final Four: UConn vs. Notre Dame picks, predictions, best bets from college basketball insider

For the seventh time in nine years, it’s Connecticut vs. Notre Dame in the 2019 Women’s Final Four. The storied programs face off at 9 p.m. ET Friday from Amalie Arena in Tampa. The Fighting Irish (34-3) are a 1-seed, the Huskies (35-2) a 2-seed, but it was UConn that dominated Notre Dame in their only meeting this season, 89-71 in South Bend. The dynasties have split their past six meetings in the Final Four. Notre Dame is 3-1 versus Connecticut in the national semifinals, winning last year’s memorable matchup on Arike Ogunbowale’s step-back jumper at the buzzer. Bookmakers list the Irish as 2.5-point favorites in the latest Connecticut vs. Notre Dame odds, with the over-under for total points set at 159.5. Before you make any UConn vs. Notre Dame picks or 2019 Women’s Final Four predictions, see what women’s college basketball expert Mike Tierney hast to say.

A renowned national sportswriter whose work appears periodically in the New York Times and L.A. Times, Tierney is a college hoops expert who has his finger on the pulse of women’s basketball. He follows it from the start of the season until the national championship game, doing extensive analysis on every matchup from the Sweet 16 onward.

Now, Tierney has broken down UConn vs. Notre Dame from every possible angle and released a confident pointspread pick. He’s only sharing it over at SportsLine.

Tierney knows every starter for Notre Dame averages double-figures in scoring, led by the dynamic backcourt of Arike Ogunbowale (21.5 points per game) and Jackie Young (15.1). Senior Jessica Shepard, a 6-4 inside force, averages a double-double with 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, and Notre Dame leads the nation with 89.1 points per game.

After getting a wakeup call from Stanford in the first half of their Elite 8 matchup, the Irish wiped out a 33-26 halftime deficit with a dominant finish, outscoring the Cardinal 58-35 after halftime. The defending national champs won’t be rattled even if UConn pulls ahead.

But just because the Irish are a prolific team with a championship pedigree doesn’t mean they’ll cover the Notre Dame vs. UConn spread in the Women’s Final Four 2019. 

The Huskies can exploit Notre Dame’s shaky perimeter defense with gifted scorers like Katie Lou Samuelson. She poured in 29 points in the Elite 8 win over Louisville, nailing 7-of-12 three-point tries. In their dismantling of Notre Dame in December, Connecticut got 28 points from freshman Christyn Williams en route to ending the Irish’s 28-game home win streak. They forced Notre Dame into 1-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

UConn is relishing its underdog status after years of entering the Final Four under the crush of impossible expectations. There’s no pressure on the Huskies, and they’re playing like it.

We can tell you Tierney is leaning under, but his much stronger play is on the side. He’s isolated a huge personnel mismatch that has him going big on one side of the spread. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins Notre Dame vs. Connecticut? And what huge personnel mismatch causes one side of the spread to hit hard? Visit SportsLine now to see Mike Tierney’s strong pick on the Notre Dame vs. UConn spread, all from the renowned expert who has his finger on the pulse of women’s college basketball.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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