In State Rivals
That will change Monday, when the No. 8 Fighting Irish and Hoosiers meet for Indiana bragging rights in the first round of the Maui Invitational.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Notre Dame –13.5 point spread favorites (NCAAB Odds) for today's game (View Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Notre Dame –13.5 (View NCAAB Bet Percentages).
Notre Dame (2-0) hasn't played Indiana since winning 55-45 on Dec. 8, 2004. That ended an eight-game losing streak in the series for the Fighting Irish, who have lost 16 of the last 19 matchups and trail 20-47 in the all-time series.
The only three times the teams have played outside the state were in the 1953 NCAA tournament in Chicago, 1954 in Iowa City, Iowa and 1958 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Notre Dame will be heavily favored in this meeting. The Irish have reigning Big East player of the year Luke Harangody among four returning starters and are ranked in the top 10 to start the season for the first time since 1980-81.
Harangody has posted two double-doubles to start the season, including a 27-point, 17-rebound effort in a 65-54 win at Loyola Marymount on Friday.
Harangody and Tory Jackson combined for 12 of Notre Dame's 15 points down the stretch as the Irish pulled away late after their lead was cut to three with seven minutes to go.
"You can't get flustered. We didn't," Harangody said. "We came down and ran our offense and got to the free-throw line. This was good for us, to have a test like this. Notre Dame comes in anywhere, I think anybody's going to be excited to play us."
Tory Jackson added 16 points for the Irish, who went 19-of-32 (59.4 percent) from the line.
"Those two guys were men when we needed men," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Harangody and Jackson. "We were fortunate to win the game. When you play on the road, you're happy to get it. I never thought it was going to be easy here. You knew you were going to have game pressure."
The Irish have appeared in Maui once previously, losing two of three games in 1993.
Indiana is in a completely different situation than Notre Dame under first-year coach Tom Crean, who has taken over in the wake of previous coach Kelvin Sampson's phone-call scandal. The Hoosiers have begun the season with only nine scholarship players - four below the NCAA limit.
Indiana is making its fifth appearance in this tournament. The Hoosiers are 8-4 in the event, winning it in 2002, and Crean is coaching in it for the second straight year after guiding Marquette to the Maui title in 2007.
Crean is 5-3 against Notre Dame.
The Hoosiers have opened with two home victories, most recently hanging on to win 60-57 over IUPUI last Tuesday. Freshman Tom Pritchard had 19 points and eight rebounds for Indiana, and blocked a potential tying shot at the buzzer.
"They're probably as mentally tired as they are physically," Crean said. "But that's what winning is all about at this level, finding a way to win."
Monday's winner will meet No. 7 Texas or Saint Joseph's in Tuesday's semifinals.