This came across the wire a little while ago, but here’s a copy of the Notre Dame release on the subject. Purdue and Butler will play in the other match-up, and then the opponents will switch in 2012. Early impressions suggest everyone is giddy as a schoolmarm about the event, dubbed the Crossroads Classic.
It’s too early, obviously, for deep reaction to the Irish, but having covered them over the last year, here are four names to watch for: Tim Abromaitis, Scott Martin, (yes, that one) Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant. The former pair are solid, scoring wings with legitimate 6-foot-8 size and plenty of athleticism. Atkins and Grant are both freshmen, but talented and about to get plugged into Mike Brey’s points-happy offense.
Release after the jump. (Courtesy of Bernie Cafarelli at Notre Dame media relations.)
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —- Notre Dame and Indiana will renew its storied men’s basketball rivalry during the 2011-12 campaign when the two teams will meet at Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 17, 2011 in the Crossroads Classic. The contest will be a part of doubleheader that also will feature Butler and Purdue meeting on the hardwood that same day.
The announcement of the event was made today (Aug. 16) at Conseco Fieldhouse. Irish director of athletics Jack Swarbrick was present for the formal announcement of the doubleheader as were Barry Collier of Butler, Fred Glass of Indiana and Morgan Burke of Purdue. The four athletic directors each signed the Memorandum of Understanding that provides for the Crossroads Classic to be held in the state capital in both 2011 and 2012.
The Irish will play Purdue in the second year of the event on Dec. 15, 2012.
“Notre Dame is very excited to be able to join with Butler, Indiana University and Purdue in making the Crossroads Classic possible,” said Swarbrick. “This is a great basketball event in America’s best basketball venue, but it is more than that. It is also a celebration of higher education in Indiana. The partnership reflected in this basketball event mirrors the many ways in which Indiana’s great colleges and universities work together to benefit Hoosiers.”
“We at Conseco Fieldhouse and Pacers Sports & Entertainment are pleased to be the host for this extraordinary event, which brings four of the state’s outstanding universities together for two great games each of the next two years,” Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said. “This expands our basketball heritage and will be tremendously exciting for alumni and all basketball fans.”
The Irish and Hoosiers last faced each other on Nov. 24, 2008 when Notre Dame defeated Indiana, 88-50, in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The last regular-season meeting between the two schools in the state of Indiana occurred on Dec. 12, 2004 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington as the Irish defeated the Hoosiers, 55-45. Indiana leads the all-time series, 47-21.
There have been 40 matchups between the Irish and the Boilermakers and the series is split with each team winning 20 games. The last meeting occurred on March 17, 2004 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament held at Notre Dame. The Irish earned a 71-59 victory in a contest that marked the first meeting between the two schools since the 1965-66 campaign.
Game times and ticket information will be announced at a later date.
Comments from the three other directors of athletics:
“This doubleheader will be a great event for the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana and for college basketball in general. The tradition and passion behind college basketball in Indianapolis and at the four institutions make this a must-see event that will generate statewide and national interest.”
Barry Collier, Butler athletic director
“We think it makes tremendous sense to resurrect what had been a pretty historic doubleheader with what I think most people would acknowledge are the four premier programs in the state. I think it will be a really good event and a great showcase for the state of Indiana.”
Fred Glass, Indiana vice president and director of athletics
“Growing up in Indianapolis, this event definitely strikes an emotional chord for me. I vividly remember attending the Hoosier Classic at Hinkle Fieldhouse as a young boy. It was my introduction to the significance of basketball in the state of Indiana. Hopefully by bringing together our four schools at the new Crossroads Classic on the magnificent stage of Conseco Fieldhouse, we will showcase this great sport to a new generation of fans.”
Morgan Burke, Purdue director of intercollegiate athletics