Dec. 1, 2015
Notre Dame (4-2, 0-0) vs. Illinois (3-4, 0-0)
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015
Site: State Farm Center – Champaign, Illinois
Game Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Talent: Mark Jones (play-by-play); Kara Lawson (analyst)
Radio: Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network; WatchND
Talent: Jack Nolan (Play-By-Play); Torrian Jones (Analyst)
NOTRE DAME TRAVELS TO ILLINOIS FOR BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE
- Notre Dame faces its first true road test of the 2015-16 campaign on Wednesday evening, Dec. 2 when the Irish travel to Champaign, Illinois to take on Illinois in the 17th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will take place at the State Farm Center with tipoff scheduled for 9:15 (ET).
- The contest will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Mark Jones (play-by-play) and Kara Lawson (analyst) calling the action.
- A free audio broadcast will be available courtesy of WatchND. Jack Nolan will handle play-by-play duties, while Torrian Jones will serve as analyst. The matchup is also available on Sirius and XM channel 81, with the home team broadcasting the matchup.
- Wednesday night’s matchup with Illinois will be first between the two schools in more than 12 years and will mark the 40th meeting all-time.
- Notre Dame enters the game with a 4-2 record after losing two of three games in Orlando, Florida at the AdvoCare Invitational. The Irish suffered a 70-68 setback to Monmouth in its opening round game, but came back a night later to defeat Iowa, 68-62, in the consolation bracket. Notre Dame then dropped a 74-74 decision to Alabama in the fifth-place game.
- Illinois sports a 3-4 overall record after playing their first seven games on the road. In its last outing the Illini lost to No. 4 Iowa State in the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Florida.
- Illinois is averaging 74.9 ppg., and is led by three players in double figures – Kendrick Nunn (18.5 ppg.), Malcolm Hill (16.7 ppg.) and Mike Thome Jr. (13.4 ppg.)
- Illinois holds a 26-13 advantage in the series. The last meeting took place in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana as the Irish defeated the Illini 68-60 at the RCA Dome to advance to the regional semifinals that year.
- Prior to that contest, the two teams had not played each other since January 1973. Notre Dame’s win at the RCA Dome snapped a three-game losing streak for the Irish and was the first win since Jan. 31, 1970 (an 86-83 victory at Chicago Stadium).
- Twenty of the previous 39 meetings between Notre Dame and Illinois have taken place on a neutral floor. A majority of those games were played at Chicago Stadium.
- This year’s contest will be the first on-campus matchup since a Dec. 18, 1954 matchup when the Illini defeated the Irish 66-57 in Champaign.
- The series has featured 12 games played at Illinois with the Illini winning 11 of those matchups. Notre Dame’s only win in Champaign (26-14) came on Feb. 6, 1926. Since then the Irish have dropped six straight at Illinois.
- Notre Dame owns a 267-232-1 record all-time versus teams from the Big Ten Conference. The Irish have won three straight over Big Ten foes.
IRISH IN THE BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE
- This is Notre Dame’s third year competing in the event.
- In its first year as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Irish traveled to Iowa City and lost a 98-93 decision to Iowa.
- Last year, Notre Dame played host to Michigan State and defeated the Spartans 79-78 in overtime.
RECAPPING THE ADVOCARE INVITATIONAL
- After winning the championship in 2010, Notre Dame lost two of its three games at the 2015 event.
- Notre Dame shot just 44.2 percent from the field (76-172), while opponents converted on 43.9 percent (79-180) of their field goal attempts.
- The Irish shot an uncharacteristic 34-55 (.618) from the free-throw line and committed 30 turnovers in the three games.
- Demetrius Jackson led the Irish in the three games as he averaged 16.0 ppg. He shot 44.7 percent from the field (17-38) and 71.4 percent (10-14) from the charity stripe.
- V.J. Beachem continues to emerge in role as a starter this season. He averaged 14.3 ppg. and 6.0 rpg. in the three games of the tournament. Beachem shot 47.1 percent (16-34) from the field.
- Steve Vasturia netted 13.7 ppg., as he converted 50.0 percent of his shots (15-30).
- Zach Auguste averaged a double-double in the three games, netting 10.7 ppg., and grabbing 11.3 rpg.
ANOTHER NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
- Notre Dame improved to 60-1 at home in the month of November under head coach Mike Brey following Saturday’s 83-57 win over UMass Lowell on Nov. 21.
- The only loss during that stretch was an 83-70 setback to Indiana State on Nov. 17, 2013.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE
- Senior forward Zach Auguste has scored in double figures in five of six games this season and registered a double-double in four of Notre Dame’s first six games. He has grabbed 10-plus rebounds in four consecutive games (the longest streak of his career) and in five game overall this season.
- Auguste is averaging a double-double this season at 13.8 ppg. and 10.7 rpg.
- His most recent double-double effort came against Alabama in the final game of the AdvoCare Invitational. Auguste finished the contest with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He had 12 points and 13 boards against Monmouth in Notre Dame’s opening round game of that tournament. Auguste was held to a season-low four points versus Iowa, but did haul in 11 boards.
- Auguste has scored in double figures on 44 occasions during his career, grabbed 10-plus rebounds 11 times and registered nine double-doubles.
JACKSON DOUBLING IT UP
- Junior guard Demetrius Jackson leads the Irish with a career-best 18.3 points per game scoring average. He finished with 16 points against Alabama in the loss on Sunday night.
- Jackson has scored in double figures in all six games. Only he and Steve Vasturia have registered double figures in every game this season.
- He began the season by scoring 20-plus points in each of Notre Dame’s first two contests. Jackson scored a career-high 27 points in the season opener against St. Francis (Pa.) as he connected on 10-14 from the field and 3-5 from three-point range. He followed that up with a 20-point effort versus Milwaukee that marked the first time in his career that he netted 20-plus points I back-to-back contests.
- Jackson also finished 20 points in the loss to Monmouth for the seventh 20-plus point effort of his career.
- Jackson has scored 20-plus points in seven games over the course of his collegiate career and netted double figures in 43 contests.
EARNING HIS STRIPES
- Junior forward V.J. Beachem is averaging career bests of 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds.
- He registered double figures in all three of Notre Dame’s games at the AdvoCare Invitational. Beachem tallied 14 points and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds versus Monmouth, scored 16 points and hauled in five rebounds against Iowa and finished with 13 points and five rebounds against Alabama.
- Beachem has netted double figures 15 times during his career. His current three-game double-figure scoring streak matches the longest of his career.
CALL HIM MR. CONSISTENT
- Junior guard Steve Vasturia has scored in double figures in all six games this season as he is averaging 12.8 points per game.
- Vasturia ended the 2014-15 campaign by netting double figures in each of Notre Dame’s last three games. His current nine-game double-figure scoring streak is the longest of his career and the longest active streak for any member of the Irish squad.
- Vasturia has netted double figures in 31 career outings.
NOTRE DAME ONE WIN FROM 1800
- A win tonight against Illinois would give the Notre Dame men’s basketball program 1800th career win as the Irish could become just the ninth Division I school to reach that milestone, joining Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Temple, Syracuse and UCLA.
- St. John’s is one win away from its 1800th win as well and play at Fordham on Wednesday night.
- Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 1799-974 (.649) in 111-plus seasons.
IN THE RANKINGS
- Notre Dame dropped out of the rankings this week after finding itself 17th in the Associated Press ranking and 18th in the USA Today Coaches Poll last week.
- Prior to this week, the Irish had been ranked in 18 consecutive polls dating back to Dec. 8, 2014. Notre Dame was ranked during the final 15 weeks of the 2014-15 campaign and the first three polls of the 2015-16 season.
- The streak matched the longest during Mike Brey’s 16-year tenure.
- Notre Dame also had a streak of appearing in 18 straight polls during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 campaigns. The Irish were ranked in the final seven polls in 2007-08 season and the first 11 of the 2008-09 season.
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