Number 17 Notre Dame Basketball looks forward to top 25 matchup vs number 5 Virginia Tech

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Irish have a tough schedule down the stretch before moving to the conference tournament.

With just two games left of the schedule this season, the Irish have the advantage of closing out at home in back-to-back top 25 opponents.

Notre Dame's rival, Louisville, will be in town Sunday, but first number 5 Virginia Tech on Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

The Hokies are the number one team in the ACC and possess nearly the same roster after last year's success.

"First of all, they went to the Final Four last year, you know, had three of their starters back in, they just play with confidence," Head Coach Niele Ivey said.

"They have that inside-outside punch with a great point guard with a great post and surrounded by great shooters. They average nine threes a game, they have that final four mentality and experience, and they're very confident and when you're led by seniors, and fifth year, seniors, you know, you just separate yourself. So, it's gonna be a tough battle tomorrow. But again, I'm just happy we're here and we're not in Blacksburg," Ivey added.

The last time the two teams met in South Bend was February 3, 2022. Unfortunately, the 68-55 outcome didn't favor Notre Dame.

But Ivey is and has remained optimistic the entire season. Battling the injury bug, the Irish are still a top 20 team and it's been impressive to see them compete.

The only thing they're missing is multiple wins against top 25 opponents.

"I feel like anything is possible. That's how I feel. You know, last year I didn't have a point guard. You know, I had Soni running the point. So, I'm very confident knowing that I'd have a point guard that I've had all season. And I feel good. I feel like it, like I said, anything's possible. I'm excited. It's gonna be challenging tomorrow night and Sunday. And it's gonna be very challenging next week, but I'm focused on Virginia Tech," Ivey said.

After Virginia Tech, Notre Dame will face Louisville on Sunday. Then there's the ACC tournament tipping off March 6 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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