It's tempting to overthink this one.
Notre Dame is playing exceptionally well, and whatever opinions formed of the Fighting Irish from watching them flop about in the second half against Georgetown are gone.
Kevin Corrigan's team is tough, fundamentally sound and isn't going to give up much easy.
Still, the Irish's task is to slow down a Duke team averaging 15.6 goals over its last 13 games. The Blue Devils' worst output in that span was a 12-spot in an ACC semifinal loss to Virginia.
Duke's seven-goal burst against Virginia in Saturday's national semifinals was a reminder of how quickly the Blue Devils can score on anyone. Notre Dame is more resistant to such runs because of its style of play. But it's not immune.
So forget about a 7-0 run. How about a 3-0 run? And if it comes early? Can the Irish come from behind to win, especially if they trail well into the second half?
Scott Rodgers and a stout defense gives the Irish a chance. But they must continue to avoid surrendering transition opportunities. That's a big part of why they beat Maryland and Cornell.
There is no underestimating Notre Dame here, at least not anymore. The Irish should be in it, perhaps into the second half.
But Duke has a burst in it, because it has had a burst in it just about every game. And that might be just enough to create the separation necessary to dispatch the Irish.
The pick: Duke 12-9.