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Notre Dame-UK matchup in New York could work well for both teams

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky and Notre Dame in Madison Square Garden in 2021?

That has a very realistic ring to it to me as UK and Notre Dame negotiate on where to play the neutral site game in a three-year series that will include games in Lexington and South Bend, Ind., also.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told Jon Rothstein during a College Hoops Today podcast that he had talked with Kentucky coach John Calipari for several years about this series before the timing was right for both teams now.

Brey will bring his team in Rupp Arena on Dec. 12. His only other trip to Rupp was in 2003 when UK won 88-73 and Tubby Smith was the head coach.

“I know our guys are very excited. My second year we went to Rupp and we got our butts slapped around a little bit,” Brey told Rothstein.

The Notre Dame coach remembered how vocal the UK fans were but he’s hoping fans will be able to get into the game — something that remains unknown with the COVID-19 crisis.

Kentucky will play at South Bend on Dec. 10, 2022.

Brey says he and Calipari have discussed playing it at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2021.
“We’d love to play in The Garden,” Brey told Rothstein. “Hopefully, we could pull that off.”

Myself I’m just glad to see the UK-Notre Dame series renewed. It would have been nice to see the neutral site game in Louisville or Indianapolis but for national exposure and recruiting, I get both coaches maybe wanting play in New York. Fans would like a neutral site game closer to Lexington, but that has just not been Calipari’s style and that is not likely to change.

To me, playing Notre Dame in New York is a lot better than facing Iona and new coach Rick Pitino there as Pitino wants.

1 comment

  1. This is not Digger Phelp’s Notre Dame. Brey doesn’t get the same level of talent, but I think he does get more out of them. You know that game in South Bend will be the hardest ticket to get that season.

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