pssst. Hey you. Can you keep college basketball a secret?
One of the most famous competitions in men’s basketball history at Notre Dame returns to the Irish schedule to start the 2022-23 season. But the NCAA being the NCAA, she doesn’t want anyone to know about it. Or admit it was going to happen, and then it happened.
It will. Notre Dame will play DePaul.
Instead of playing in a second fair against a volatile but grateful opponent at the Purcell Pavilion, as is usually the case early in the year, Irish coach Mike Brie will take a different route. His show has only traveled once before – in October 2018.
That year, Notre Dame and Cincinnati met in Indianapolis for a “secret” altercation. This year, Notre Dame and DePaul will do the same on Sunday, October 23 at Winterst Arena in Chicago’s South End. What time it begins – or is supposed to begin – has not yet been determined.
Notre Dame and DePaul met 106 times. Notre Dame leads the 62-44 series ever. Some matches – like Ireland’s 76-74 win in overtime on February 27, 1980 – are memorable. Others – too much talk – didn’t. The Irish have won 11 in a row and 12 of 13 over the Blue Demons, their one-time Big East teammates.
DePaul finished 15-16 last season, his first under coach Tony Staplefield. Notre Dame was 24-11.
Several years ago, the NCAA allowed Division I teams to have these fights against fellow Division I teams. It has been classified as confidential because it is exactly that. Neither of the two participating parties can acknowledge its occurrence or its occurrence. It is not possible to generate statistics from any game situations in which teams are running. It is not open to the public. It is not open to the media. No word on anything going on that’s supposed to come out, but it always comes out.
When Notre Dame worked that evening against Cincinnati, the Irishman left Indianapolis concerned about how strong forward John Mooney would be in his first season as a main man. He has struggled against the size of the University of California. Mooney then led the Irish in scoring (14.1 dpi) and ACC in rebounding (11.2).
The game is not included in the official Notre Dame 2022-23 schedule. In many ways, it feels like it never happened. But it is.
Noe:Irish breaking table 2022-23
It’s not really a game, but more like a series of game situations where coaches can rate their teams in a variety of settings and situations. Perhaps, four five-minute clips from five to five. Then, some situation late in the game, such as, for example, putting 20 seconds on the clock and a specific score on the board, and each team works on attacking and defending twice. Some individual skills may work. Just something different to break the monotony of pre-season training and get something more than just another glorious mini-game against the Division III uniform.
Under NCAA covert brawl guidelines, Brie can’t officially confirm or deny that DePaul’s brawl is on the schedule. And two sources close to the show told the Tribune newspaper Monday night that it is. This is logical. Lots of meaning.
A veteran team carrying six players in its fifth year this season, Notre Dame has no business in a second show. This program needs to be challenged. The earlier the better. Cormac Ryan, Nate Laszewski, and Dane Goodwin didn’t get anything from the second show. Brawl Against DePaul checks nearly every chest for Notre Dame.
A express bus trip to Chicago will allow Notre Dame freshmen (Dom Campbell, Finn Allen Lubin, J.J. Starling) and graduate transfers (Marcus Hammond) to learn how everything works away from home. Travel. encounters. Pre-match Mass. It’s an easy ride, as the Marriott Marquis is primarily associated with Wintrust, a building Notre Dame last visited to officially open the plaza – and the 2017-18 season – with a 72-58 victory.
Going this route is something Brey will likely continue to do going forward – one traditional fair at home, one secret brawl against a program from an energy conference relatively close to home. For this season, it’s DePaul. The following year, how about a butler. or Indiana. Maybe even Dayton?
No choice will be on the table. Everything should be. According to Jeff Goodman of the field, 11 of the 15 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference had secret squabbles last season. It’s become the way of the college basketball world, even if no one is supposed to know it.
Notre Dame opens the regular season November 2 at home against Radford.