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.
NEWARK, Del. — For the first time since 2000, Mike Brey was on the sideline as a coach inside the Bob Carpenter Center.
Only this time, he was coaching against the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens. Brey and the ninth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish were in town for a non-conference match-up in front of close to 5,000 fans in snowy Newark.
Brey led the Blue Hens to the NCAA Tournament in both 1998 and 1999, and is a member of the UD Athletics Hall of Fame. Fans were excited about his return to the sideline, regardless of what team he was coaching for, as he helped the team become a name on the national scale during his time as the head coach.
Delaware’s current head coach, Martin Ingelsby, was an assistant under Brey for 13 seasons after playing his senior year at Notre Dame for coach Brey in 2000-01. The two agreed to the game due to their long ties to one another, and it didn’t disappoint.
SOUTH BEND, IN. — With 10 seconds left on the clock, the score tied at 77 and the ball in the hands of Ball State‘s Tayler Persons, the Cardinals’ leading scorer drained a last-second three pointer to shock the Notre Dame Fighting Irish inside the Purcell Pavilion, 80-77.
Prior to the 10th meeting between the Irish and the Cardinals, Notre Dame had claimed victories in all nine previous games, with their last win coming back in 1976.
Notre Dame has never let Ball State come close to ever upsetting them. Yesterday was a different story.
Just as the Fighting Irish were coming off of a tournament championship win, beating the then sixth-ranked Wichita State Shockers, Michigan State also found success in early tournament play, winning the Victory bracket of the inaugural PK80 Invitational against the then ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.
In their game against the Tar Heels, the Spartans showed dominance both defensively and offensively, which transitioned into their tilt with the #5 team in the country Thursday night.
Michigan State threw Notre Dame off their offensive rhythm they showed during the Maui Invitational, keeping them out of the paint, limiting their points on the fast break, and forcing them to take unbalanced shots. The Irish were no better on defense, as their transition defense failed to stop the Spartans, and they were out-manned down low with Michigan State getting too many second chances.
While it is one loss and it came from a team that one could argue is the best in the country, Notre Dame is starting to show us who they really are.
Here are three things we learned about Notre Dame in their loss to Michigan State.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — On Thursday night inside the Breslin Center, the third-ranked Michigan State Spartans led wire-to-wire against the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, picking up a big 81-63 win to close out the 2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
It marks the second win for Michigan State over a top ten team in a five-day span, as they knocked off the then ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday to win the Victory Bracket of the PK80 Invitational, 63-45.
Michigan State got contributions from all 11 players who checked into the game, nine of which recorded at least two points in the win. Sophomore guard Cassius Winston led the way with another all-round performance, recording 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
Fellow guard Joshua Langford tied Winston for the team-high in scoring with 17 points of his own, while Miles Bridges chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds.
EAST LANSING, Mi. — For the third time this season, the Michigan State Spartans will take on a top-10 team when they host the fifth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday night inside the Breslin Center.
When the 2017-18 schedules were announced, Thursday’s match-up between the Spartans and Fighting Irish was one that most had circled on their calendars. Both teams were expected to be ranked comfortably in the top 25, but little did we know that this would turn into a top-five game when it tips off.
Michigan State and Notre Dame will be meeting for the 97th time, but Thursday marks just their second meeting since 1979 campaign. The last time the two teams met was back in 2014, with the Fighting Irish picking up a 79-78 win in overtime over the 14th-ranked Spartans in South Bend as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.