Photo via @diggerphelps on Twitter

Memorable Indiana Basketball Wins in the Notre Dame Series

IU basketball will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this Saturday at Noon ET in Indianapolis in connection with The Crossroads Classic.

The game will mark the 73rd all-time meeting between the programs, with Indiana leading the series 50-22.  The series dates back to 1908.

Below, we’ve selected our favorite Indiana wins in the series in chronological order.  Have another favorite Hoosier victory over the Irish that you think should be on the list?  Let us know:

DECEMBER 15, 1970, INDIANA 106  NOTRE DAME 103

Down 53-43 at the half, Lou Watson’s Hurryin’ Hoosiers rallied in the second half to upend the No. 6 ranked Irish in a shootout at South Bend.  Indiana had to overcome ND superstar Austin Carr, who came into the game averaging 30.2 points per game and went for an amazing 54 on this night.  George McGinnis and Joby Wright led IU to the victory with 29 points each.

DECEMBER 18, 1971, INDIANA 94  NOTRE DAME 29

It is difficult to imagine, but Notre Dame went from scoring 103 one year, to just 29 the next at the dedication ceremony game for the new Assembly Hall.

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Indiana vs. Notre Dame at the Assembly Hall dedication game. Photo credit – IU Archives

At this ceremony, IU named the new floor in Assembly Hall after former coach Branch McCracken.  The two-time national championship winning coach had passed away a year earlier.  A plaque was presented to his wife and son at the dedication game.  That plaque can now be found on the northeast side of the court.

The Hoosiers dominated Notre Dame and their first year head coach Digger Phelps.  In fact, IU forward John Ritter outscored the Irish by himself, scoring 31 points on the day.

DECEMBER 11, 1975, INDIANA 63  NOTRE DAME 60

Indiana would face an early test on its quest for a perfect 1975-76 season as the No. 8 ranked Fighting Irish came to Assembly Hall.  IU would struggle early, only shooting 29% from the field in the first half but ND didn’t shoot much better in a defensive struggle.  The Hoosiers finally gained separation at 51-37 midway through the second half, only to see the Irish claw back to within three a few minutes later.  The Hoosiers would hang on despite missing 8 of 12 free throws down the stretch.  Adrian Dantley led Notre Dame with 19.  Scott May led IU with 25.

DECEMBER 14, 1977, INDIANA 67  NOTRE DAME 66

The No. 2 ranked 6-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish came to Bloomington as the favorite.  Notre Dame was led in part by future NBA stars Bill Laimbeer and Kelly Tripucka.  The game was tight throughout as the Irish struggled with Hoosier youngsters Mike Woodson, Steve Risley and Ray Tolbert.  But it took IU veteran Wayne Radford to hit the game winning free throw with 4 seconds remaining.  Woodson led IU with 18.

photo credit – IU archives

In a bizarre twist of fate, the Notre Dame team was supposed to fly on the same plane that crashed with the Evansville team aboard it later that same day.  The Irish instead chose to travel by bus due to poor conditions.  Radford was best friends with one of the passengers that perished on that flight, and was aware of the crash as he played in this game.

DECEMBER 2, 1996, INDIANA 76  NOTRE DAME 75

Andrae Patterson hit a game winning jumper from the lane to give Indiana a 76-75 upset victory over No. 8 ranked Notre Dame in South Bend.  The Hoosiers overcame an 11 point second half deficit.  Pat Garrity led the Irish with 36 points.  Neil Reed led IU with 21.

DECEMBER 1, 1998, INDIANA 76  NOTRE DAME 72 (OT)

Indiana missed several free throws down the stretch which allowed the Irish to force overtime in South Bend.  IU only shot 15 of 27 at the stripe for the game.  Jimmy Dillon hit a tough shot at the buzzer to force OT.  Indiana continued to miss free throws in the overtime period but escaped with the win.  Luke Recker led IU with 27 and AJ Guyton added 17.  Troy Murphy led Notre Dame with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

NOVEMBER 30, 1999, INDIANA 81  NOTRE DAME 64 (OT)

Indiana would score the first 17 points of the game and eventually build a 22 point lead in the first half only to give it all away and see the game go to overtime in Bloomington.  Then, almost as if the game was restarting from the beginning, Indiana would score the first 15 points of overtime and cruise in the extra session.  AJ Guyton led IU with 20 points and Kirk Haston added 18 points and 12 rebounds.  Troy Murphy led Notre Dame with 22 points and 16 rebounds.

DECEMBER 5, 2000, INDIANA 86  NOTRE DAME 78

The Tom Coverdale game.  Indiana traveled to South Bend and took down the No. 10 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 86-78.  The sophomore Coverdale, who had played a total of 41 minutes his freshman season, stunned the home crowd as he led Indiana with 30 points in the victory.  The guard hit 11 of 15 from the field including 4 of 6 from the 3-point line.  His previous career high was 13.

photo credit AP

DECEMBER 4, 2001, INDIANA 76  NOTRE DAME 75

Indiana led the entire game at Assembly Hall and was up by as much as 14 in the first half.  The Irish refused to go away and got within two points with just under a minute remaining.  Tom Coverdale hit some big late free throws to seal it.  It was Indiana’s seventh win in a row over ND, and 12th in the last 13 games.  Jared Jeffries led IU with 28.  Chris Thomas led Notre Dame with 24.

DECEMBER 19, 2015, INDIANA 80  NOTRE DAME 73

Some consider this the game that saved a season.  Indiana was reeling after a bad trip to Maui and a blowout loss to Duke.  The season looked like a lost cause and Hoosier fans were calling for Tom Crean’s job.  Things got worse in this game before they got better.  Indiana would fall behind by as much as 16 in the second half before they came roaring back.  Troy Williams made several big plays to lead IU to the win.  The Hoosiers would go on to win an outright Big Ten title.

DECEMBER 16, 2017, INDIANA 80  NOTRE DAME 77 (OT)

No. 18 Notre Dame would lead 28-14 in the first half, and then after IU rallied to within one at 31-30, the Irish extended back out to a 44-31 lead in the second half. With only 4:24 remaining the Irish lead was still eight, 61-53.  At that point in the game junior Juwan Morgan had put together a nice afternoon with 14 points.  Morgan had every point in an 8-0 run that tied the game at 65 with 13 seconds left in regulation.  Morgan kept going in overtime, and by the time he was done he had shot 13-of-17 from the field, grabbed 11 rebounds, scored a career-high 34 points, and made the game winning dunk.

SOMETHING ELSE

In case you haven’t had enough IU vs. ND, below is the full game video of the 1991 Indiana vs. Notre Dame game.  IU handled the Irish easily in this one.

An interesting thing about this video that you will note right away is that Hoosier legend Steve Alford did the color commentary.  The game was also this author’s first ever IU basketball game as a student.


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