NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 2010-11 Notre Dame men's basketball team will face one of the most challenging schedules in the 106-year history of the program as 13 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA tournament are on the Irish schedule this season. In addition, the Irish could make as many as 17 appearances on national television during the regular season.
Notre Dame faces a strong non-conference schedule with an appearance in the Old Spice Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 25-28, in addition to a matchup with Kentucky in the BIG EAST/SEC Invitational in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 8 at 9:30 p.m. (ET), and a first-ever meeting with Gonzaga on Dec. 11 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The Irish will have five non-conference games televised during the months of November and December. All three games involving Notre Dame could potentially appear on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. The Dec. 8 matchup with Kentucky in the BIG EAST/SEC Invitational will be televised by ESPN, while the contest with Gonzaga will be shown on ESPN2.
More than half of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST men's basketball games will be seen on national television during the upcoming season, giving the conference once again unprecedented exposure on the nation's leading television outlets.
In total, 73 of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST games will be on national television (either on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU). Each of the BIG EAST's 16 teams will make at least five national television appearances in conference games alone. The remaining conference games will be produced by ESPN Regional Television for the BIG EAST Network or carried on ESPN3.com.
The '10-'11 season will be the fourth straight in which all 144 regular-season league games will be televised.
Notre Dame is slated to play Connecticut, Marquette and St. John's twice during the regular season as part of its three repeat opponents and will take on each of the other 12 BIG EAST teams once, either at home or on the road.
Notre Dame will play two exhibition games before opening up its regular-season slate when it plays host to Marian University on Mon., Nov. 1 and Catholic University on Sat., Nov. 6.
The season begins in earnest with four consecutive home games at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center with four games in 10 days. The campaign commences on Fri., Nov, 12 when the Irish entertain Georgia Southern at 8:00 p.m. (ET). Two days later, Notre Dame will meet Liberty for the second straight year when the Irish host the Flames on Sun., Nov. 14 at 2:00 p.m. (ET). Last season, the Irish defeated Liberty 91-72 on Nov. 22 at Purcell Pavilion.
The Irish entertain Chicago State on Wed., Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. (ET), before closing out the four-game homestand with a Mon., Nov. 22 contest against Maine at 7:30 p.m. (ET), the first of three contests against teams from the American East Conference.
Notre Dame then heads to Orlando, Fla., for the Old Spice Classic and will face Georgia on Thanksgiving night, Thur., Nov. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will be shown on ESPN2. The Irish will face either California or Temple in its second game of the tournament on Fri, Nov. 26.
The four remaining teams in the tournament field that comprise the upper-half of the bracket are Boston College, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and Manhattan. Notre Dame will play one of those four teams the final day of the tournament on Nov. 28.
Notre Dame closes out the month of November by playing host to in-state counterpart, Indiana State, on Tue., Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
The Irish will play five games during the month of December beginning with its matchup against the Wildcats in the BIG EAST/SEC Invitational on Dec. 8 at 9:30 p.m. (ET) as Notre Dame will be making its first-ever appearance in the event. The contest between the Irish and the Wildcats revisits a long tradition for the two storied programs at Freedom Hall.
The two have met at the historic venue on 32 occasions with the first contest played in January 1937. The rivalry was held in Louisville every season from 1962-63 to 1987-88. Kentucky owns a 23-9 advantage in the games played at Freedom Hall. The Wildcats won the last meeting (78-69) against the Irish at Freedom Hall on Jan. 31, 1988. Kentucky leads the overall series 41-18. In the most recent matchup on March 25, 2009 in the third round of the National Invitation Tournament, the Irish snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Wildcats with the 77-67 victory at Notre Dame.
The matchup with Gonzaga on Dec. 11 will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools and will be the final game before an eight-day break for final exams. Following final exams, the Irish will play its final two non-conference games against American East foes, Stony Brook (Sun., Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m.) and UMBC (Wed., Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m.).
Notre Dame opens up BIG EAST Conference play on Wed., Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) when the Irish play host to Georgetown in a game that will be televised by ESPN2. In fact, the Irish begin their conference slate by playing three of their first four games at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame rings in 2011 on Sat., Jan. 1 at Syracuse's Carrier Dome for a 3:30 p.m. (ET) contest against the Orange on ESPNU. The Irish return home for matchups against Connecticut (Tue., Jan. 4) and St. John's (Sat., Jan. 8) at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU.
Brey's squad takes to the road for its next two contests. Making their first of three Big Monday appearances on the season, the Irish travel to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette on Jan. 10 at 7:00 p.m., on ESPN2. Six days later, Notre Dame faces St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Sun., Jan. 16 in the second matchup of the conference regular season between the two schools.
The final two home games during the month of January are against Cincinnati on Wed., Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. The second meeting of the season against Marquette takes place Sat., Jan. 22. Notre Dame closes out January with a Big Monday contest against Pittsburgh on Jan. 24 at the Petersen Events Center at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
As they did in the month of January, the Irish will be on the road to open up play during the month of February with a 9:00 p.m. (ET) contest at Allstate Arena against DePaul on Thur., Feb. 3 in a game that is scheduled to be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Notre Dame returns to Purcell Pavilion for two home games against Rutgers (Sun., Feb. 6) and Louisville (Wed., Feb. 9) at 7:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.
Following the two-game homestand, the Irish will embark on a three-game road swing, their longest of the season against USF (Sat., Feb. 12), West Virginia (Sat., Feb. 19) and Providence (Wed., Feb. 23). The matchup against the Mountaineers will be televised on CBS Sports at 1:00 p.m. (ET) and marks Notre Dame's lone contest on the network during the regular season.
The final two regular-season home games will be against Seton Hall (Sat., Feb. 26) at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU, while Notre Dame's matchup with Villanova on Mon., Feb. 28 at 7:00 p.m. (ET), will mark the final Big Monday appearance on ESPN for the Irish.
Notre Dame closes out the regular season at Connecticut for a 2:00 p.m. (ET) at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., on Sat. March 5 in a contest that will be shown on either ESPN or ESPN2.
The BIG EAST Championship, presented by American Eagle, will take place March 8-12 (Tue.-Sat.) at Madison Square Garden.