NOTRE DAME, Ind.--- The University of Notre Dame men's basketball team's opponent in this year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods, is one the Fighting Irish have not played since 1979, but one that surely will have fans excited. In its second year as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Notre Dame will play host to Michigan State Dec. 3 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The contest will mark the 95th meeting between the two Midwest schools, but the first since March 18, 1979 when the Spartans downed the Irish 80-68 in the Mideast Regional final in Indianapolis, Ind. en route to the national championship. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 59-35. Michigan State last played at Notre Dame on Feb. 5, 1975 when the Spartans defeated the Irish 76-73.
"This is going to be a terrific early-season test for our players and a great non-conference home game for our fans," says Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey, who will begin his 15th season along the Irish sidelines during the upcoming 2014-15 campaign. "We're thrilled with the matchup on what will be an exciting and electric night of basketball in our building."
Michigan State is coming off a 29-9 campaign (12-6 Big Ten) and the Spartans captured the Big Ten Tournament title. Michigan State advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national champion Connecticut, 60-54, in the championship game of the East Regional.
The 16th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge will feature a 14-game series involving teams from the two conferences over three nights Dec. 1-3. Nine of the 14 contests will mark first-ever matchups in the event. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games with teams playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup. Every contest will also be available via WatchESPN.
All 14 Big Ten teams and 14 of the 15 ACC teams will participate in the 2014 Challenge. Boston College will not play in the 2014 event.
The ACC and Big Ten have split the past two Challenges, winning six games each in 2012 and 2013. In the event of a tie, the Commissioner's Cup remains with the conference that won the previous year, which was the Big Ten in 2011. The ACC won the first 10 Challenges (1999-2008) while the Big Ten won the next three (2009-2011).
Two games will take place on the first night (Dec. 1) with Nebraska traveling to Florida State and Rutgers visiting Clemson. Six games will be played on the next two nights. On Dec. 2, Illinois will be at Miami, Minnesota plays at Wake Forest, North Carolina State travels to Purdue, Ohio State visits Louisville, Pittsburgh will be at Indiana and Syracuse will play at Michigan.
In addition to the Notre Dame-Michigan State game on Dec. 5, the other five contests will feature Duke at Wisconsin, Georgia Tech traveling to Northwestern, Iowa playing at North Carolina, Virginia visiting Maryland and Virginia Tech playing at Penn State.
The finalized schedule of times and networks for the 14 games will be announced in August.
Notre Dame fell at Iowa, 98-93, last season in its inaugural appearance in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.