June 1, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's basketball team will play host to a marquee non-conference matchup during the upcoming 2012-13 campaign as the Irish will face defending national champion Kentucky in the 2012 SEC-BIG EAST Challenge in one of 12 games over a three-night span. The Wildcats will pay a visit to Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Thursday, Nov. 29.
This will be Notre Dame's second appearance in the SEC/BIG EAST matchup. In 2010, the two teams met on Dec. 2 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., with the Wildcats taking home a 72-58 win.
This year's matchup will be the 61st meeting between the two teams with Kentucky owning a 42-18 advantage in the series. The Wildcats' last visit to Purcell Pavilion was on March 25, 2009 in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament as the Irish snapped a 10-game losing streak to Kentucky with a 77-67 victory. The Wildcats are 5-2 all-time in seven appearances at Purcell Pavilion. It will be the seventh time under Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey that the Irish will face Kentucky.
"I'm thrilled about this matchup and the opportunity to play Kentucky," Brey says. "These two schools have a long tradition of playing each other and we've been exploring options for renewing the rivalry. With all five of our starters returning next year, this is going to be a great early non-conference test for us. I'm excited that our fans will have the chance to be a part of such a powerful and meaningful game so early on in our season."
The Notre Dame-Kentucky contest will be one of four games on the first night of the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. The other matchups on Nov. 29 will be Marquette at Florida, Seton Hall at LSU and South Carolina at St. John's. Two of those games that evening will be televised by ESPN2, while the other two contests will be shown on ESPNU.
On the second night, Friday, Nov. 30, Syracuse plays at Arkansas; DePaul travels to Auburn; Georgetown hosts Tennessee; and USF entertains Georgia. Those four games will be televised by either ESPN or ESPNU.
On the third, and final day, Saturday, Dec. 1, the four games will be Alabama at Cincinnati, Rutgers at Mississippi, Mississippi State at Providence and Villanova at Vanderbilt. Two games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, while the other two matchups will be on ESPNU.
The specific network (ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU) and start times of each of the 12 games will be announced by ESPN in August.