May 8, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team, which will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign, has been selected to play in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Irish will face the Iowa Hawkeyes Dec. 3 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
The contest is part of a 12-game series involving teams from the two conferences over two nights (Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 4). In addition to Notre Dame’s game against the Hawkeyes, the other five games slated for that evening include Florida State at Minnesota, Illinois at Georgia Tech, Indiana at Syracuse, Michigan at Duke and Penn State at Pittsburgh.
The matchups scheduled to take place the following evening include Boston College at Purdue, Maryland at Ohio State, Miami at Nebraska, North Carolina at Michigan State, Northwestern at North Carolina State and Wisconsin at Virginia. This will be the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The showdown with Iowa means Notre Dame will play three Big Ten teams during the upcoming non-conference season. The Irish will take on Indiana for the second time in three years in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis, Ind., and will face Ohio State Dec. 21 in the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y.
Notre Dame is coming off a school-record seventh consecutive 20-win season as the Irish finished with a 25-10 mark (tied for second-most victories during head coach Mike Brey’s 13-year tenure) and earned its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. Notre Dame returns four starters next season.
The Hawkeyes, runner-up in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament (NIT), finished 25-13 a year ago equaling the second-most victories in school history. Fran McCaffery just completed his third season on the Iowa sidelines. McCaffery is no stranger to Irish fans as he spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator on Notre Dame staffs (1988-99) for both Digger Phelps and John MacLeod.
Notre Dame and Iowa have played each other on 13 previous occasions with the Irish holding an 8-5 advantage in the series. The last meeting took place Nov. 17, 1990, at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center and the Irish came away with a 77-68 victory. Notre Dame last traveled to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes on Dec. 18, 1950 (a 63-60 loss). This will be the seventh time an Irish team has played at Iowa where Notre Dame is 3-3 all-time.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge in a first season as a member of the ACC,” Brey says. “This is a great non-conference game for us in a very tough environment. Fran McCaffery has done a fabulous job with the program there and return all five starters from last season. It will be a very good test for our team and players. I like how our non-conference schedule is shaping up for next year with many tough early-season contests. It certainly will prepare us for the rigors of ACC play.”