Busting Brackets

Notre Dame vs. Indiana: 2021-22 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Hoosiers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set to square off on Saturday. Which Indiana school will secure bragging rights over its in-state foe?

Time: Saturday, December 18 at 1:30 pm CT
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Channel: FOX

On Saturday afternoon, four of the premier college basketball programs in the state of Indiana will compete in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. Third-ranked Purdue will take on Butler to begin the event which will then be followed by Notre Dame versus Indiana. This ND-IU game is crucial for both the Irish and the Hoosiers, not just in terms of gaining bragging rights over an in-state foe, but also for building momentum heading into conference play.

Notre Dame and Indiana have met 62 times since the 1949-1950 season. Indiana has the upper hand in the series with a dominant 44-18 record over the Irish. The most recent matchup between these two came in 2019 when Indiana squeaked out a two-point victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Irish enter the game with a 4-4 record, but they are coming off their best win of the season after beating Kentucky last Saturday. Notre Dame has three players averaging double figures through eight games. Senior guard Dane Goodwin is leading the way with 14.3 PPG, while Blake Wesley and Paul Atkinson Jr. trail right behind him with 13.0 PPG and 11.0 PPG, respectively. Cormac Ryan is another name to look out for as he is someone who can get hot from deep and change the game.

On the other side, Indiana has been relatively solid to start the young season and enter the contest at 8-2. Mike Woodson’s squad’s only two losses have been a 2OT loss at Syracuse and a loss in Madison against Wisconsin that Indiana dominated for most of the game but blew late.

Trayce Jackson-Davis is a Big Ten Player of the Year candidate who can impose his will on opponents on both ends of the floor. His frontcourt mate, Race Thompson, has also gotten off to a nice start averaging 10.6 PPG and 8.7 RPG. Those two have propelled the Hoosiers to their 8-2 start, while they could use improved play in the backcourt.

Saturday’s game could very well be won or lost on the glass. Indiana has dominated its opponents on the glass and has a +10.3-rebound margin per game to show for it. Notre Dame only has out-rebounded its opponents by 3.0 boards per game. The Irish need to limit Indiana to one shot per possession especially considering ND has allowed a lousy opponents’ FG percentage of 44.4% thus far.

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On the other hand, Indiana has a stout allowed FG percentage of just 34.9%. If Mike Brey’s team can prevent Jackson-Davis and Thompson from wrecking the game on the glass, Notre Dame will have a chance to keep its momentum rolling and pull off another big-time upset.