The Kentucky Wildcats and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set to square off on the college hoops hardwood later this year. The two schools reached a three-year agreement on Thursday that includes this season’s December 12th game at Rupp Arena, a neutral site contest in 2021, and a 2022 duel in South Bend.
John Calipari’s squad will be tough to overcome, but Notre Dame’s willingness to schedule nonconference games against a college basketball powerhouse can’t be overlooked. It’s great for the fans, the alumni, tournament résumés – you name it.
Unfortunately for Dan Dakich, the wrong Indiana school is scheduling these marquee matchups.
“Indiana, man, you gotta step your stuff up, dude…You’ve got to step up. Indiana, just stop falling by the wayside, man. Let’s go. You need a marque home-and-home something,” he said on Thursday’s Dan Dakich Show.
Excluding the Big 10/ACC Challenge, IU has only played one true nonconference road game versus a ranked opponent in the last decade – an 84-68 defeat in 2017 at Seton Hall. Indiana is, by no means, the only school guilty of padding its away schedule. But why do we have to wait until January every year for compelling on-campus games?
Dan Dakich is trying to start a much-needed conversation.
“I [texted] Calipari. I said, ‘Man, I wish you’d start a series with Purdue.’ I mean, if Indiana can’t step up and make it happen then Purdue needs to.”
Now more than ever, college hoops programs are trying to find ways to stay relevant. ‘How do we compete with the Duke’s and Kentucky’s of the world?’
Well, whether you’re Purdue, IU, or Notre Dame, the answer is pretty simple. Make an effort to put ‘blue bloods’ on the schedule and the rest will sort itself out.