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Irish to host Iowa in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

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The Irish matchup and the rest of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge schedule was announced today. ND will host the Iowa Hawkeyes in the annual non-conference series. This will be the 3rd meeting between the schools in the last four years.

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The Irish will face a somewhat familiar opponent in next season's ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The leagues announced that ND will host the Iowa Hawkeyes in South Bend as part of the annual event. Notre Dame knocked off Iowa last season at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando 68-62. In 2013, the Hawkeyes bested the Irish 98-93 in ND's first appearance in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The 2015/16 Hawkeyes finished the season with a 22-11 record (12-6 in the Big Ten), and were a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament after spending a large chunk of the season ranked in the top-10. After beating Temple in the first round, Iowa lost eventual champions Villanova in the round of 32. Other games of note next season's Challenge are Michigan State travelling to Duke and Indiana hosting UNC in a Sweet 16 rematch. Syracuse facing Wisconsin and Purdue meeting Virginia could also be interesting matchups.

Like the Irish, the Hawkeyes will look significantly different next season. Despite losing Demetrius Jackson and Zach Auguste, the Irish actually have much more coming back than Iowa. The Hawkeyes' biggest loss will be First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All American forward Jarrod Uthoff who led Iowa in scoring with over 18 ppg. The Hawkeyes will also lose their leading rebounder and assist men in center Adam Woodbury and guard Mike Gesell. Both players had strong four year careers in Iowa City. Last but not least, third leading scorer Anthony Clemmons will also graduate leaving the Hawkeyes just one starter returning from last year's squad. That player, guard Peter Jok, averaged 16.1 ppg on over 40% 3pt shooting last season, and will be the focal point of the Iowa offense next season.

The ACC-Big Ten opponent likely completes the major Irish non-conference schedule. The Irish will face five high major opponents next season before the ACC schedule kicks off. In addition to the Hawkeyes, ND will face fellow Big Ten opponent Purdue in the Crossroads Classic, defending National Champions Villanova in Newark, and two of Northwestern, Texas, and Colorado in the Legend's Classic in Brooklyn. With the full schedule yet to be released, it's possible that another marquee game could be added, but considering Mike Brey's usual scheduling philosophy, it would be surprising to see another high major opponent added at this point. Expect the final schedule to be released sometime in the next few weeks.