Fighting Irish to take on Hawkeyes basketball in 2013

BY BEN ROSS | MAY 09, 2013 5:00 AM

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Notre Dame will travel to Iowa City next winter to take on Iowa in a basketball game as part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The 2013-14 season will be Notre Dame’s first as a part of the ACC conference.

The last time Notre Dame played the Hawkeyes in Iowa City was on Dec. 18, 1950; the Irish fell to Iowa, coached by Frank “Bucky” O’Connor, 63-60. In last year’s installment of the tournament, Iowa lost to Virginia Tech in the first round, 95-79, in Blacksburg.

“We’re thrilled to be part of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge in a first season as a member of the ACC,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said in a release. “This is a great nonconference game for us in a very tough environment. Fran McCaffery has done a fabulous job with the program there and returns all five starters from last season. It will be a very good test for our team and players.”

Going 25-10 last year, the Irish are coming off their seventh-consecutive 20-win season and fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Notre Dame got knocked out of the tournament early, losing to Iowa State, 76-58.

Iowa is coming off a season in which it tied for the second-most wins in school history, going 25-13 and earning a berth in the NIT championship game, where it fell to Baylor, 74-54. The Hawkeyes return all five starters and its top-five scorers from a year ago.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame for 11 years from 1988-99, coaching on the staff Digger Phelps and John MacLeod.

“It’s going to be exciting hosting Notre Dame, a successful program that is rich in tradition, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. “Notre Dame is an extremely well-coached team that has advanced to the last four NCAA tournaments. This will be another good test for our basketball team early in the season.”

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