On Friday it was announced an old foe will be returning to the Notre Dame men’s basketball schedule in 2018 and 2019. The Fighting Irish will travel to at Pauley Pavilion on December 8th of 2018 to square off with the UCLA, while the Bruins will make a return trip to in 2019.
“The Notre Dame-UCLA basketball series is synonymous with college basketball,” coach Mike Brey said in a statement on Friday.
Some of college basketball’s iconic games have been birthed from this series as well. Most notably in 1974 when Notre Dame snapped UCLA’s 88-game winning streak, which is still a record in men’s college basketball. This series produced many greats such as Adrian Dantley, Bill Walton, Orlando Woolridge and Jamaal Wilkes.
Junior Irish guard Rex Pflueger, a southern California native, is looking forward to his trip home in 2018.
“I’m so excited to be going back home for a game next year. It will be a great opportunity not only for myself, but for the team to get a chance to take on UCLA,” Pflueger said.
The 2019 game in South Bend will be somewhat of a homecoming for UCLA head coach Steve Alford. Alford, a native of New Castle, In, played at Indiana from 1983-1987 and won a National Championship for the Hoosiers.
One other thing about the 2019 game in South Bend is that Irish fans will be lucky enough to be subjected to the LaVar Ball show. His middle son Liangelo Ball is set to be a freshman this coming season and his youngest, LaMelo, is committed to UCLA and will be a freshman in 2019. Lucky us!
The 2018 meeting will be the 49th in the series history. UCLA holds a 28-20 edge. Back in the days of John Wooden in Digger Phelps, this was one of the premier games in college basketball. The Irish and Bruins matched up every year from 1966-1984. Only once during that 30 game span was neither team ranked in the top 25.
Notre Dame and UCLA have played each other on and off since 1984. They last faced off in 2009 in South Bend — the Irish won 84-73.