Indeed, all of us here at One Foot Down (and Notre Dame fans everywhere, no doubt) are in full-on football mode, gearing up for the big-time matchup with Michigan State this weekend in South Bend. However, a bit of basketball news concerning the back-to-back Elite Eight participants, that’s right our very own Notre Dame Fighting Irish, dropped recently.
Along with the announcement of the ACC basketball schedule, UND.com released Notre Dame’s entire slate for the 2016-17 season. Mike Brey’s squad will face a few out-of-conference challenges, which is the norm these days in Purcell Pavilion and on neutral courts.
While games against Purdue, Colorado and a potential early-season tournament game against the Texas Longhorns or Northwestern Wildcats are certainly notable, the big one comes in the inaugural Never Forget Tribute Classic. On December 10th in the Prudential Center in Newark, the Irish face defending national champion Villanova.
The last meeting between Jay Wright’s Wildcats and Mike Brey’s Irish was in 2013 in Purcell Pavilion, a game Notre Dame won 65-60. A frequent foe during the Big East era, Villanova leads the series, 19-17.
Notre Dame kicks off another tough ACC schedule at Pittsburgh on New Years Eve. Notable home games include Syracuse, Virginia and Duke, while the Irish will have to travel to North Carolina and Miami. Louisville will be the toughest home-and-home series for the Irish this year.
In a recent video piece entitled “5 Big Takeaways”, TheACC.com points out Notre Dame’s match up with North Carolina as part of a “Tough Tar Heel Stretch” for Roy Williams’ team. The game represents another meeting in a series that has produced multiple great moments for the two programs in the past two years, including Notre Dame’s first ACC title, and a berth for the Tar Heels in last year’s ACC title game as well as the Final Four. It is the first of a brutal five-game stretch for UNC that also includes Duke, NC State, Virginia and Louisville. You can check out the rest of the video here: