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Irish A Stable Force In The State

Dec 14, 2012, 1:10 PM EDT

Consistency has been the hallmark and a source of pride for head coach Mike Brey throughout his tenure at Notre Dame. Eight NCAA tournament appearances in 12 years, 268 wins, nine 20-win campaigns (including six straight) and eight seasons with 10 or more wins in BIG EAST regular-season play tell only part of the story of Brey’s teams over the years.

Since 2000, Notre Dame is 133-89 (.599) in BIG EAST play in what arguably has been the nation’s toughest conference. His 133 wins ranks fifth all-time among all BIG EAST coaches and he is one of just nine coaches in league history to record 100 conference wins.

With Saturday’s second annual Close the Gap Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis just a day away, let’s take a closer look into how Notre Dame ranks among the top Division I teams in the state of Indiana.

Indiana currently is ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today rankings. Head coach Tom Crean has done a terrific job in Bloomington rebuilding one of the nation’s elite programs. Butler, under the direction of Brad Stevens, has appeared in the NCAA Championship title game two of the last three years, while Matt Painter since 2005 has guided Purdue to six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 berths.

But, since Brey took over the reins of the Irish program 12-plus seasons ago, Notre Dame is the only NCAA Division I men’s basketball program in the state of Indiana to not suffer a losing season and owns the most NCAA tournament appearances with eight. The Irish are also just one of the 10 schools to have just one head coach during that stretch.

Here is a breakdown of those programs beginning with the 2000-01 season (12-plus seasons).

Butler: 3 head coaches, 7 NCAA appearances, 294-109 (.731 winning percentage)
NOTRE DAME: 1, 8, 268-133 (.668)
Purdue: 2, 7, 237-161 (.595)
Valparaiso: 3, 2, 232-163 (.587)
Indiana: 4, 7, 218-173 (.558)
IUPUI: 2, 1, 203-168 (.547)
Ball State: 3, 0, 175-197 (.470)
Indiana State: 3, 1, 167-215 (.436)
Evansville: 3, 0, 147-367 (.401)
IPFW: 4, 0, 131-234 (.359)

Bernie Cafarelli (’83) is Notre Dame’s media relations director and the sports information director for the men’s basketball team.

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