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College GameDay, Louisville Return to South Bend

Feb 7, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

The regular season does not get much bigger than Saturday for the #25 Notre Dame men’s basketball team. ESPN’s College GameDay and #11 Louisville come to town for what’s sure to be jam-packed weekend at Purcell Pavilion.

The GameDay team of Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jalen Rose and Jay Bilas will broadcast live from Purcell Pavilion between 10 am and noon ET (the first hour is on ESPNU, before shifting to ESPN), with the big game tipping off just after 9 pm ET on ESPN.

As Tyler Moorehead, the Leprechaun Legion’s VP of Public Relations and Social Media pointed out on his blog earlier this week, Notre Dame will become the sixth school to have both football and basketball College GameDay in the same academic year.

The Fighting Irish join Oklahoma State (2004-05), Texas (2005-06 and 2008-09), Ohio State (2006-07), Florida State (2011-12) and Michigan (2011-12) in achieving this rare feat. It certainly speaks volumes about Notre Dame athletics and the ND fan base that ESPN would choose to send its flagship college program to campus twice in a span of less than four months.

In addition to the circus of College GameDay, the game is shaping up to be quite the second act. Within the past few seasons, the Notre Dame – Louisville rivalry has morphed into one of the best in the BIG EAST, if not all of college basketball. Since 2006, the Irish and the Cardinals have met 10 times, with six of those battles being decided in overtime.

Last season, Notre Dame upset the 11th-ranked Cardinals, 67-65, in a double overtime thriller in Louisville. The teams played again in the BIG EAST conference semifinals, where Louisville rolled to a 64-50 victory, carrying its momentum all the way to the Final Four.

Louisville (19-4 overall, 7-3 BIG EAST) currently stands one game ahead of Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4), so it’s important for both teams as they vie for position in the crowded BIG EAST standings.

Though residents of the Bluegrass State might argue otherwise, there should be no debate that the Hoosier State is king of college basketball right now. GameDay was at Butler in Indianapolis three weeks ago, at IU in Bloomington this past weekend, and now, preparing for a visit to South Bend, marking its third stop in Indiana in a span of four weeks. The Hoosiers are currently ranked #1 in the nation, the Bulldogs are 14th, and if the Irish can pick up a big win against Louisville, they will have defeated both of Kentucky’s premier hoops teams – the Wildcats and Cardinals – in the same season.

As part of the GameDay festivities, the Leprechaun Legion will be hosting a student campout with a whole bunch of activities in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse on Friday night. Read more about it on the event page on Facebook.

Come tip-off time, Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale will be on the call. If their past Saturday nights in Indiana are any indication, we’re in for a wild one (Exhibit A and Exhibit B).

About In The Paint

Welcome to In The Paint, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame basketball programs. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the Purcell Pavilion, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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