INDIANAPOLIS, In. — Another year is in full swing, and another edition of the Crossroads Classic is upon us.
For the last six seasons, the Butler Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Indiana Hoosiers have all ascended on BankersLife Fieldhouse for a two-game showcase. With two teams from the Big Ten, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers alternate opponents each season. The 2017 edition marks the seventh edition of the event, and it shouldn’t disappoint.
Notre Dame and Indiana enter Saturday’s showdown with identical 3-3 records in the event. The Hoosiers hold a 2-1 edge over the Fighting Irish in their head-to-head match-ups. They last met in 2015, with the Hoosiers scoring an 80-73 win over Notre Dame.
On Saturday, both teams will be looking for a big win that could get them back on the right track after some shaky moments early in the 2017-18 season.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Saturday afternoon marks the final non-conference game at home for the Liberty Flames.
Liberty is off to its best start in a season since the 2008-09 campaign, which was head coach Ritchie McKay’s first stint with the Flames. At 7-3, Liberty currently has the most wins out of any team in the Big South Conference, and they have won five of their last six games heading into Saturday.
The Flames will host the Kentucky Christian Knights, who will be playing their second Division I team in a row. Liberty will then head to Louisiana for the New Orleans Shootout before beginning conference play at the end of December to close out the 2017 calendar year.
While the game serves as an exhibition for the Knights, the Flames will look to iron out any kinks that they may have before the grind of conference play begins.
DETROIT, Mich. — Fans have been waiting patiently since April for December 16th to roll around, and the wait is finally over.
The Hitachi College Basketball Showcase will be the first-ever college basketball event to be played inside the newly-constructed Little Caesars Arena in District Detroit. Four of the top teams from the state of Michigan will put their talents on display in front of a sold out crowd in the Motor City.
Saturday’s festivities kick off with a match-up that features the Detroit Mercy Titans and the Michigan Wolverines at 12:00pm EST, followed by the Oakland Golden Grizzlies taking on the second-ranked Michigan State Spartans at approximately 2:30pm EST.
All four teams in the event have the opportunity to add a quality non-conference win to their resume, and you can bet that the fans will be treated to high-quality basketball across both games.
OMAHA, Neb. — On Friday night, the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks make their first-ever trip to Omaha, Nebraska to take on the Creighton Bluejays and their high-octane offense.
The contest marks the fourth game of a six-game road trip for the Hawks, who have lost the first three contests, all by at least 22 points. Maryland Eastern Shore has been short-handed all season due to injuries, and the Bluejays will look to take full advantage of that from the get-go on Friday inside CenturyLink Center Omaha.
On paper, the Bluejays come in as heavy favourites, and for good reason. If the Hawks want to have any shot at pulling off the massive upset, they need to have a perfect night on both ends of the floor. A perfect night almost never happens, and the odds are stacked against the Hawks, who have just one win in their last six outings.
TAMPA, Fla. — Thursday night marks the beginning of a four-game road swing for the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, one that will eventually take them to the other side of the country for a pair of games in the state of Washington.
Up first, the Wildcats have a rematch from last season with the South Florida Bulls. Bethune-Cookman squandered a 19-point lead last season, and ultimately fell in overtime to the Bulls, 79-73. Thursday night marks the 16th meeting between the Wildcats and South Florida, with the Bulls holding a 14-1 advantage in the all-time series.
This game could be seen as a welcome home party for Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, who began his head coaching career in Delaware before starting his tenure in South Bend.
Brey coached the Fightin’ Blue Hens from 1995-2000, going 99-51 in five years, leading them to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two America East Championships.
Delaware is currently 4-5 on the season, losing their most recent game to the Buffalo Bulls, 75-72, and are coached by Martin Ingelsby, who was an assistant coach for the Fighting Irish from 2009-2016.