Notre Dame’s Saturday game against Indiana is technically at a neutral site. The Irish and Hoosiers will meet in the final Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
But Mike Brey knows it’s neutral in designation only. This is an Indiana basketball game in Indianapolis, after all. Gainbridge Fieldhouse will be decked in cream and crimson. He and the Irish have seen it before in the prior Crossroads matchups against the Hoosiers.
It all sets up for the chance at another marquee win.
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Notre Dame picked itself up off the mat last weekend and beat then-No. 10 Kentucky, 66-62. After a week off for final exams, the Irish are back on the court with the chance to make last week’s win mean even more in the big picture of this season. Beating Indiana in a de facto road game would go a long way toward proving the takedown of Kentucky won’t be a blip on the radar. The Hoosiers are 8-2 in their first year under Mike Woodson.
“It’d be something great to build on,” Brey said. “To get that one after Saturday would mean a lot. As we’re still searching, working on getting confident and feeling ourselves, it would be huge.”
Here’s what to know and how to watch the game, which will be the sixth meeting between Notre Dame and Indiana in 11 years of the Crossroads Classic. The Irish are 1-4 in the first five, though the last two have been decided by a total of five points.
Notre Dame (4-4, 0-1 ACC) vs. Indiana (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten)
When: Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Radio: WSBT 960/und.com
KenPom projection: Indiana 71, Notre Dame 68
Last meeting: Indiana won 62-60 on Dec. 21, 2019
Series history: Indiana leads 50-22
Guard Dane Goodwin leads Notre Dame in scoring this season (14.3 points per game). (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
• Notre Dame is ranked 53rd at KenPom, while Indiana is 26th.
• Junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis leads Indiana in scoring, at 19.3 points per game. He also averages 8.4 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, 1.6 assists and is shooting 61.2 percent from the floor. He was a third-team All-American last season.
• The Hoosiers never shot better than 32.6 percent on three-pointers in former head coach Archie Miller’s tenure and ranked outside the top 200 in perimeter shooting in each of his four years.
Woodson upgraded shooting by adding former Northwestern wing Miller Kopp this spring. He’s making 41.9 percent of his threes, while UT Martin transfer Parker Stewart is at 47.1 percent. Each takes more than three per game. Through 10 games, Indiana is shooting 37 percent on threes.
• Indiana’s main bugaboo so far is being careless with the ball. The Hoosiers are turning the ball over on 21.7 percent of their possessions, which ranks 293rd nationally.
• Senior guard Dane Goodwin has eight straight games with at least 10 points and leads Notre Dame in scoring, at 14.3 points per game. He is also pulling down 5.5 rebounds per game.
• Freshman guard Blake Wesley is averaging 13.0 points per game, which second among ACC freshmen and seventh best among major-conference first-year players. He is shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 38.2 percent on threes.
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