Aug. 5, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish men’s basketball team will face Southeastern Conference foe Georgia in its opening game at the 2010 Old Spice Classic in a contest that will be televised on Thursday, Nov. 25 by ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). The first-round pairings and tournament bracket were unveiled on Thursday (Aug. 5) on ESPNEWS. Notre Dame will be making its first-ever appearance in the annual Thanksgiving weekend event that first began in 2006.
This year’s games will be played at the Fieldhouse sponsored by HP at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The event will include 12 games in three days with games broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Tournament sponsors include Old Spice, ESPNU and the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
In addition to Notre Dame, the fifth annual ’10 Old Spice Classic field will be comprised of Boston College, California, Georgia, Manhattan, Temple, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. This year’s field features five NCAA tournament teams from a year ago — the Irish, Aggies, Badgers, Owls and Golden Bears.
Notre Dame is slated to take on either Temple or California in its second game of the tournament.
“This has quickly become one of the premier early-season tournaments in the country,” head coach Mike Brey said. “We’re thrilled to be participating in this year’s event. This season’s field is extremely strong and will provide us and the fans with some great competition.”
In the other three first-round games on the 25th, Boston College meets Texas A&M; Wisconsin faces Manhattan and Temple takes on California.
Brey will be beginning his 11th year along the Irish sidelines in 2010-11. His Notre Dame teams have appeared in the NCAA tournament six of the last 10 campaigns. Last season, the Irish finished with a 23-12 mark, its seventh 20-win season under Brey. Notre Dame also registered its sixth 10-win season in BIG EAST play and advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST tournament for the third time in program history. After a one-year hiatus, Notre Dame returned to the NCAA tournament in ’10 and lost in the first round to Old Dominion.
The Irish’s first-round opponent, Georgia, finished with a final 14-17 mark and advanced to the second round of the SEC tournament. The Bulldogs are one of two SEC teams on the Notre Dame schedule this season as the Irish are slated to face Kentucky in the DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational on Dec. 8.
Boston College finished 15-16 in ’09-’10 and lost in the first-round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, while Texas A&M completed a 24-10 campaign and eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Purdue (63-61). Wisconsin ended the season in the second round of the NCAAs and a 24-9 mark, while Manhattan was 11-20 a year ago. Temple, which registered a 24-6 mark last season, lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and California finished 24-11 following its second-round loss to eventual national champion Duke (68-53).
Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated will face off in a championship contest on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.
The inaugural Old Spice Classic was played in ’06 with Arkansas defeating West Virginia in the championship tilt. Subsequent champions have been: North Carolina State in 2007, Gonzaga in 2008 and Florida State in 2009.
Tickets to this year’s Old Spice Classic will go on sale on Friday, Aug. 13, and be purchased at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 407-839-3900. Fans can also purchase travel packages to the tournament by going to www.AnthonyTravel.com or by calling 1-800-736-6377.
— ND —