Jan 18, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT
While many sports fans might be focused on the NFL’s conference championship games this weekend, college basketball conference play is in full swing. In fact, the hoops edition of ESPN’s College GameDay makes its first appearance on the road, right here in the Hoosier State, when the show travels to Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the #13 Bulldogs’ showdown against #8 Gonzaga.
In South Bend, both the Notre Dame men’s and women’s teams will take on BIG EAST conference foes at Purcell Pavilion.
The #20 men’s team (14-3 overall, 2-2 BIG EAST) will host Rutgers on Saturday evening at 8 pm ET. The Scarlet Knights (12-4, 3-2) are coming off a 70-67 victory over South Florida, while the Irish are looking to rebound from back-to-back losses.
Last year, Notre Dame and Rutgers split the season series, with each team winning on its home court. The Irish lead the all-time series, 18-13.
Among those who will be in attendance tomorrow night is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a longtime friend of head coach Mike Brey. Governor Christie will be accepting proceeds from the team’s recent auction to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
On Sunday, head coach Muffet McGraw and the second-ranked women’s team will try to continue their winning ways when they take on St. John’s (9-6, 3-0) at noon ET on ESPNU.
Since losing to Baylor on Dec. 5, the Irish (15-1, 4-0) have won ten straight games, most recently against Georgetown on Tuesday.
With no tailgating or college football and no holiday shopping or decorating, it might be easy for weekends in January to feel a little empty. But whether you’re watching at home or here on campus, the countdown to March is on, and there’s a lot of college hoops action to enjoy.
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