Aug. 4, 2017
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team has announced a home-and-home series of games with UCLA. The Irish will head to Pauley Pavilion on December 8, 2018, while UCLA’s return trip to Purcell Pavilion for 2019 will be determined at a later date.
“The Notre Dame – UCLA basketball series is synonymous with college basketball,” Irish head coach Mike Brey said.
“We will get to play in front of our great Southern California fan base, take Rex Pflueger back to the Mater Dei area during his senior year with us and bring a historic rival back onto our schedule.”
Pflueger, from Dana Point, California, was the 2014-15 Orange County Register Player of the Year at Mater Dei. He helped the Monarchs claim the 2013-14 MaxPreps National Championship with a perfect 35-0 record. The guard will be a junior on the Irish roster in 2017-18.
“I’m so excited to be going back home for a game next year,” Pflueger said when he heard about the series announcement.
“It will be a great opportunity not only for myself, but for the team to get a chance to take on UCLA.”
Notre Dame and UCLA will be meeting for the 49th time in December of 2018 with the Bruins holding a 28-20 lead in the all-time series. The top college basketball series of the 1970s, the Irish and Bruins met every season from 1966 through 1984. Only twice in that 30-game run was neither team ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll.
Notre Dame upset top-ranked UCLA in legendary fashion on January 19, 1974, to snap the Bruins’ NCAA record 88-game win streak. The Irish also upset top-ranked UCLA in 1971 to bookend the 88-game run. From 1974 through 1980, the two teams met 15 times with Notre Dame claiming a victory in nine of those matchups.
The Irish and Bruins have met on and off since 1985, with the last matchup a 84-73 Notre Dame victory in Purcell Pavilion on December 19, 2009.
- Notre Dame and UCLA met in the dedication game of Purcell Pavilion (then named the Athletic and Convocation Center) on December 7, 1968, putting the 2018 matchup one day off of 50 years to the day of the first contest in Notre Dame’s home arena.
- Notre Dame and UCLA are currently separated by just four games on the NCAA all-time wins list. The Bruins enter the 2017-18 season in seventh place with 1,849 victories, with the Irish in eighth place with 1,845 wins.
- The 2019-20 season, when UCLA is set for its return trip to Purcell Pavilion, will mark the first season of the ACC’s 20-game regular-season schedule.
- The announcement of the UCLA series coincides with junior Rex Pflueger’s birthday (August 4).