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Irish Basketball set schedule for season

Observer Staff Report | Friday, September 2, 2011

Notre Dame released the full schedules for its men’s and women’s basketball programs Thursday.

Irish coach Mike Brey, who is now in his 12th year at the helm, will lead the men’s team in a non-conference slate highlighted by neutral site games against Missouri, Maryland and Indiana.

They will also play a road game at Gonzaga.

Notre Dame’s Big East season begins at home Dec. 27 against Pittsburgh. Other top home games include Connecticut on Jan. 14, Syracuse on Jan. 21, Marquette on Feb. 4 and West Virginia on Feb. 22. The team will celebrate Senior Day on March 2 against Providence.

The road schedule is once again expected to be a difficult one, with matchups against Louisville on Jan. 7, Connecticut on Jan. 29, West Virginia on Feb. 8, Villanova on Feb. 18 and Georgetown on Feb. 27.

The Irish carry a 19-game winning streak at Purcell Pavilion into the 2011-12 season.

Muffet McGraw’s squad will play one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in the nation this year, as has been the norm in her 23-year tenure as Irish coach.

The Irish will be tested Jan. 23 when Tennessee travels to Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame defeated the Volunteers for the first time in program history in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Notre Dame has a home-and-home scheduled with perennial power Connecticut, including the Feb. 27 season finale in Hartford, Conn. that could determine the Big East regular season championship.

The Irish open Big East play Dec. 7 against Marquette, but do not fully get into conference play until January.

Trips to Rutgers on Jan. 31, Louisville on Feb. 20 and Georgetown on Jan. 10 highlight a difficult road schedule that the program hopes will prepare them for another deep run in the NCAA tournament.