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2014 Crossroads Classic: Notre Dame vs. Purdue Preview, TV, Time, Odds, Streaming, Etc.

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Purdue and Notre Dame meet for only the third time since 1966.

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I love the Crossroads Classic. This is a basketball mad state and having the four largest programs play a doubleheader at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a great idea. We should expand on it. Make it 8 teams and bring in Ball State, Valparaiso, Evansville, and Indiana State for their own doubleheader. Make it an eight team tournament even! Shoot, let's bring in IUPUI and IPFW and make it a 10-team event! The more basketball, the better.

There is no question he event has been a success. This is the fourth one and it is merely the end of the first extension. The athletic directors have already agreed on another extension that will have the event played through 2019. If they could only have it be Indiana-Purdue and Butler-Notre Dame in the years where the Big Ten is too stupid to have IU and Purdue play twice it would be even better.

One thing that has not been good about the event is Purdue's performance. In the first one Purdue blew a double-digit second half lead against Butler in a 67-65 loss. The Boilers lost to Notre Dame 81-68 two years ago and last year's 76-70 loss to Butler was far more lopsided than the final score. At least as Purdue fans we got to see Butler beat No. 1 Indiana two years ago (and not lose their minds celebrating a win over the No. 1 ranked team in the process).

So Purdue has never won in this and Butler has never lost. A good Saturday would bring a Purdue victory and see Butler maintain their dominance.

Opponent

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Location:

South Bend, IN

Date:

12/20/2014

Venue:

Bankers Life Fieldhouse (18,165)

TV:

Big Ten Network

Radio Stream:

TuneIn

Satellite Radio:

SIRI 136, XM

Odds:

No line yet

Tickets:

As low as $93 on Stubhub

Tipoff:

5:15pm

KenPom Ranking:

34 of 351

RPI:

130

Blog Representation:

One Foot Down

2014-15 Record:

10-1

All-time series

Notre Dame leads 21-20

Last Purdue win:

109-92on 1/4/1966 at Notre Dame

Last Notre Dame Win:

81-68 on 12/15/2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

2013-14 Record:

15-17, 6-12 ACC

Last NCAA appearance:

2013(33 appearances, best performance: 1978 Final Four)

Coach:

Mike Brey (15th season at Notre Dame, 308-159 at ND, 407-211 overall)

Between 1966 and 2012 Purdue and Notre Dame played every year in football, but only once in men's basketball. The schools even played a National Championship game in women's basketball, but the only men's meeting was when the NIT mandated it in 2004. Thanks to the Crossroads Classic and the changing conference landscapes, Notre Dame and Purdue will play more often in men's basketball over the next six years than in football.

Despite being separated by less than 100 miles we're almost completely unfamiliar with Irish basketball. Notre Dame has won the only two meetings since 1966, both by double digits. They enter this game with only one loss on the 2014-15 season and a #21 national ranking. A Purdue victory would be huge on the eve of conference play.

Purdue's defense will be tested after a poor showing at Vanderbilt. Notre Dame is one of the best scoring teams in the nation at 84.9 points per game. Fortunately, Purdue has played the top scoring team in the country in BYU and managed to hold them below their average.

Notre Dame is a young team like us. The Irish have only two seniors in Pat Connaughton (12.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Jerian Grant (18.9 ppg, 6.0 apg). Both are big guards that present a matchup nightmare for us on the perimeter. They shoot the three well and Grant is both an excellent defender and distributor. The Grant vs. Jon Octeus defensive matchup should be fun.

Zach Auguste (15.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Demetrius Jackson (13.3 ppg, 3.1 apg) each bring their own challenges. Auguste is a solid post player that is more than good enough to give A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas fits, especially if both struggle like they did at Vanderbilt. Jackson is a slashing, quick guard that can get his way to the rim.

Notre Dame loves to shoot the three, however. Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem have been excellent from long range to go with Connaughton and Grant. Notre Dame shoots over 20 threes per game and they are hitting almost 41% of them. Their rotation is shorter with only Austin Burgett and Martinas Geben getting regular minutes in addition to the above six players. Grant, Auguste, Jackson, Connaughton, and Vasturia are all playing about 25 minutes per game.

This is going to be a tough game. Notre Dame shoots well (best in the nation at 55.7% from the field), plays good defense, shares the ball at 15 assists per game, and they have a decent amount of size. In Purdue's three losses it has not played well. In fact, if the Boilers had played as well as they have in many of their wins, those losses would likely be wins.

It is a deep concern that Notre Dame is an excellent three-point shooting team and we just let Vanderbilt go crazy on us. On the season Vanderbilt's three-point percentage is a tenth of a point better than Notre Dame, but the Irish shoot a lot more. Purdue has got to find a way to defend the perimeter better or it loses this game.

The Boilers also need good A.J. Hammons to show up instead of ghost A.J. Getting good offensive games from Vince Edwards and Kendall Stephens will also help. Offensively, Purdue needs to hit it shots and spread the floor without relying solely on the "Hey, go post up, big guy" offense. The Boilers are capable of beating the Irish, but only if they get tough and play Purdue basketball, which did not happen in Nashville.