The ESPN College Gameday and Saturday Primetime crew, led by former Notre Dame men's basketball coach Digger Phelps (seen here at last year's celebration of the 1978 Irish NCAA Final Four team), will make its first visit to the Joyce Center on Jan. 24, 2009, when the Irish take on Connecticut at 7 p.m. (ET).

ESPN's College Basketball Gameday To Visit Notre Dame In 2009

Aug. 27, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – ESPN College Basketball GameDay and Saturday Primetime will pay a first-ever visit to the Joyce Center in 2009 when Notre Dame plays host to BIG EAST rival Connecticut on Saturday, January 24 with a special 7:00 p.m. (ET) tipoff time on that day.

ESPN’s weekly College GameDay Driven by State Farm men’s college basketball series and the Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week telecast will return for a fifth season beginning January 17. The BIG EAST Conference is the only league in ’09 that will have four teams and two contests featured as part of the eight-game series.

The contest will mark the second time the Irish have been part of ESPN’s College GameDay. Notre Dame played at Syracuse (a 60-57 loss) on February 5, 2005.

The college basketball version of the popular College GameDay football series — featuring two one-hour shows each Saturday at 11 a.m. ET and generally at 8:00 p.m. ET — will originate from the site of the Saturday Primetime game (at 6:00 p.m. ET on the night of the Notre Dame-Connecticut contest) for eight consecutive weeks and will generally be presented from inside or around the arena.

Notre Dame enters the 2008-09 campaign riding the nation’s second-longest win streak nationally at 37 consecutive victories at home. In 2007-08, the Irish broke the Joyce Center win streak of 24 straight and currently owns the second-longest BIG EAST home wins streak with 18 consecutive victories. Notre Dame has not lost a home game since February 25, 2006 and is the first team in BIG EAST history to finish undefeated at home in back-to-back seasons.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting ESPN College Basketball GameDay at the Joyce Center,” Irish head coach Mike Brey said. “The Joyce Center has played host to some of the greatest games in college basketball and we will look forward to having the chance to showcase our basketball program here at Notre Dame against one of the nation’s top teams. Our student body and fans have been such a huge part of our recent success here and I know that there will be an unbelievable atmosphere throughout the day and during the game. It will be an electric night in the building that evening.”

Scheduled sites for College GameDay and Saturday Primetime:

Jan. 17, 2009 Chapel Hill, North Carolina Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina
Jan. 24, 2009 Notre Dame, Indiana Connecticut at NOTRE DAME
Jan. 31, 2009 Knoxville, Tennessee Florida at Tennessee
Feb. 7, 2009 Spokane, Washington Memphis at Gonzaga
Feb. 14, 2009 Madison, Wisconsin Ohio State at Wisconsin
Feb. 21, 2009 Austin, Texas Oklahoma at Texas
Feb. 28, 2009 Berkeley, California UCLA at California
March 7, 2009 Morgantown, West Virginia Louisville at West Virginia

— ND —