Surprising Virginia will try to remain on the heels of Atlantic Coast Conference leader Syracuse as it begins a key two-game road trip at slumping Notre Dame on Tuesday night. It's the first-ever meeting between the teams in ACC play but the schools have played six times previously with the Cavaliers holding a 5-1 edge, including a 68-67 victory in the only previous meeting at the Joyce Center in 1991. Virginia has won five in a row over the Fighting Irish, including an 81-76 win in the 1992 NIT championship game, the last time the two schools met.Notre Dame, which has lost five of its last six games, returns home after losing back-to-back road games at Florida State and Wake Forest. The Fighting Irish are just 3-5 since star guard Jerian Grant, a first team preseason all-ACC pick who was averaging a team-high 19 points and 6.2 assists, was dismissed from the team because of an academic issue. However, Notre Dame is 3-1 at home during that span including a 79-77 upset of Duke.TIME: 9 p.m. ET, ESPNUABOUT VIRGINIA (15-5, 6-1 ACC): The Cavaliers' slogan is "Embrace The Pace," which along with some good defense has enabled the team to rank in the top 15 nationally in seven defensive categories, including points per game (56.5) and field goal percentage (37.8). Returning all-ACC picks Joe Harris (11.6) and Akil Mitchell (6.7), who is averaging 8.4 rebounds in ACC play, lead the Cavaliers. Sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon (11.4), who missed the entire 2012-13 season with a foot injury, has scored in double figures in all seven conference games.ABOUT NOTRE DAME (11-9, 2-5): As expected, the Irish have struggled since the huge loss of Grant but all five ACC defeats have been by eight points or less. Center Garrick Sherman is averaging career bests in points (15.2) and rebounds (8.3) and has six double-doubles, including three in ACC play. Guard Eric Atkins is averaging 14.2 points and five assists and has scored in double figures in nine straight games.TIP-INS1. Harris leads all active ACC players with 226 career 3-point field goals.2. Virginia is 31-2 when holding opponents under 50 points in the Tony Bennett era, including 6-1 this season.3. Notre Dame F Austin Burgett, who started three games and is averaging 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds, is scheduled to undergo an outpatient cardiac procedure on Tuesday that the school said will sideline him for seven to 10 days.PREDICTION: Virginia 62, Notre Dame 58