May 12, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The BIG EAST Conference has unveiled its slate of home and away league opponents for the 2006-07 women’s basketball season, it was announced late Thursday evening. For the second consecutive year, the BIG EAST is employing a 16-game schedule formula of seven home games, seven road games and one “repeat opponent” that teams will face both at home and on the road. The 2006-07 conference schedule maintains the same “repeat opponent” for all teams as they had a year ago, while the seven home and road games are simply reversed from their locations in 2005-06.
Once again, Notre Dame will face DePaul as its “repeat opponent,” as the two squads continue their long-standing rivalry that goes back to 1979 and at 25 games, is one of the most frequently-played series in Irish women’s basketball history. The Blue Demons lead the all-time series, 15-10, after the two sides split their two matchups a year ago. Notre Dame won the opener at the Joyce Center, 78-75 on Jan. 17, before DePaul came back with a 79-50 victory on Feb. 12 in Chicago. The Blue Demons are coming off their first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance last year and were ranked in the top 15 in both major national polls at season’s end.
Among the other opponents visiting South Bend this season are Rutgers (also an NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier in 2005-06), Louisville and St. John’s (both NCAA second-round participants last year) and Cincinnati (a 2006 WNIT selection). Rounding out the BIG EAST home slate at the Joyce Center will be Georgetown, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Conversely, Notre Dame’s conference road schedule is highlighted by a trip to Connecticut, the first for the Irish since they ended the Huskies’ 112-game BIG EAST regular-season home winning streak with a 65-59 victory on Jan. 30, 2005 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. The other BIG EAST journeys Notre Dame will take next season include visits to South Florida (NCAA first-round competitor last year), Marquette (2006 WNIT runner-up), Pittsburgh (WNIT semifinalist last year) and Villanova (WNIT quarterfinalist in 2006). Providence and Seton Hall will complete the upcoming conference road schedule for the Irish.
Notre Dame’s complete 2006-07 schedule, including an expanded docket of 13 non-conference games in accordance with new NCAA guidelines allowing for 29 regular-season games, is in the process of being finalized with dates and times. It then will require approval from the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics before it can be released publicly. In addition, several Irish games likely will be selected for television broadcasts, with those contests and broadcast outlets announced at a later time.
For the 11th consecutive season, all Notre Dame women’s basketball games — home and away — will be broadcast live on radio in the South Bend area (ESPN Radio 1490 AM), as well as worldwide on the Internet at the official Irish athletics web site (www.und.com), with veteran broadcaster Sean Stires set to begin his seventh season as the voice of Notre Dame women’s basketball in 2006-07.
— ND —
2006-07 NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL – BIG EAST CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
Home/away – DePaul
Home – Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse, West Virginia
Away – Connecticut, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, Seton Hall, South Florida, Villanova