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Cats must battle the (luck of the) Irish

If you rattle off a list of the toughest places to play in college basketball you might hear names like Cameron Indoor, Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Assembly Hall, and of course Rupp Arena.

Everyone in Big Blue Nation is familiar with perfection, so it comes as no surprise that John Calipari has yet to lose a game inside Rupp in his tenure as head man (knock on wood). Fifty-five games and counting, with Baylor slated to be the next victim.

There are plenty of teams working their own streak behind Kentucky, with Kansas and Syracuse tied at 25 consecutive wins. Then it drops off to smaller schools like South Dakota State, Southern Mississippi and Montana with only a dozen or so.

One venue you may not hear on that list of toughest places to play is the Joyce Center, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish; the next opponent on Kentucky’s schedule. The Cats head to South Bend on Thursday to play in front of what is sure to be a packed house.

Kentucky isn’t ranked No. 1 in the country, but the Irish will certainly hope to play like they are. Since the Joyce Center opened in 1968, Notre Dame has hosted a No. 1 team nine times. Impressively, the Irish have won six of those games.

The latest upset over a top-ranked team came last season when Notre Dame halted the perfect 20-0 run of Syracuse in late January.

Notre Dame is currently 40-1 in the Joyce Center going back to February 2010, with the only loss coming to No. 17 Connecticut last season.

In those last two seasons, the Irish have beaten seven ranked teams in the Joyce Center.

Since the 2006 season Notre Dame owns a 104-7 record on its home court. In that span they have run out separate winning streaks of 45 and 29 games.

Notre Dame started this season ranked, but fell out of the top 25 after losing to St. Josephs in the Barclays Center, 79-70 in overtime. The Irish sit at 6-1 on the season, and Kentucky will be their first real test of the season.

This may turn out to be one of the toughest games the Cats play, going up against a massive home court advantage.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

23 Comments for Cats must battle the (luck of the) Irish

  1. Muzz
    2:18 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Has anyone at ND even realized basketball has started yet?

  2. Really???
    2:21 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously… you guys are going to talk about UK (vs ND) basketball on THE day uofl announces they are joining the ACC?

    You just know the core ACC schools are thinking, “there goes the neighborhood.”

  3. lou holtz
    2:23 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Believe me people, Notre Dame fans care less about basketball than Mitch Barnhart cares about football.

  4. Sammydog
    2:24 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    what time is the game?

  5. Dylan
    2:25 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Excited to see how these kids handle a “real” road game….still very early…but tomorrow night will tell us alot about this team moving forward.

  6. CTheTerminatorK23
    2:26 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Good thing we’re not playing the Irish on St Patrick’s Day that the wost day to play the Irish because that’s their luckiest day of the year DUH !!!! Come on We’ll beat now we are back to full strength with Harrow we win by 8 BOOK IT ! GO BIG BLUE !!!

  7. Bradley
    2:27 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’d say the first real test for the Irish was probably the team that beat them already.

  8. St. Josephs
    2:40 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Why am I not a test?

  9. Gimel Martinez is my hero
    2:41 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    1 – Probably not, but UK coming to town will temporarily wake them out of their football haze since they don’t play again for 5-6 more weeks. I bet ND comes close to a sell out because we are one of their best home games of the season.

    5 – Agree. Should be a solid test. Personally, I think we will get beat, but obviously hoping for a different outcome.

  10. yessir
    2:42 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Watched ND play twice already….DON’T WORRY! Unless that crowd can come down on the court and get in our way….we win. They have a slow front court and they are not athletic at all. They are gonna need more than (the luck of) the Irish if they have a chance against us. GO BIG BLUE!!!

  11. kychuck
    2:43 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    7 pm on ESPN2, correct?!?

  12. Robasama
    2:43 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Notre Dame has sent out an email asking all those attending the ND vs. UK game to wear black for a “black out”. I’ll be there with my Blue UK gear on!

  13. DiggerPhelps
    2:44 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Listen to me! Listen to me!

  14. SexnNursinHomes
    2:44 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    6- no, if they are truly Irish like me, they will be hungover and puking their guts out like every other Irish drunkard on st Patties day.

  15. DiggerPhelps
    2:45 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I am going to start using a yellow highlighter to match my teeth!

  16. RealCatsFan
    3:06 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Is that the USS Enterprise descending from the ceiling of that place?

  17. Al's IndiCats
    3:08 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    ND has some 3 point shooters, they proved that the other night. I think we’ll handle them inside, but we have to get some offensive rebounds. I say the Cats by 12

  18. Econ Prof
    3:13 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I saw the last game of the Billy G era at that site. It was a small, loud arena–different than what our Cats (at least this year) have played in so far this year. The fans were nice to us and friendly but we also had a 4 year old girl with us (you’re real jerks if you’re mean to a 4 year old girl in a UK cheerleader outfit, no matter who you’re rooting for). We were lost in leaving the arena and a worker had us follow her in her car to the exit to leave to come home. Of course, the game stunk but our experience was good. Can’t wait to see them win there tomorrow night however.

  19. Cruck
    3:23 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    #16- No. that’s the USS Reliant.

  20. Cat89
    3:30 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    The Cats will start off 10 point down because this is an Indiana School with a BIG 10 mentality regardless of what league they play in. Every team in the BIG 10 starts off 10 points down on the road. I know everyone says this but this is particularly prevalent at schools like ND and throughout the BIG 10 as well. This along with the fact that UK gets every teams best game/effort may lead to a difficult game. Having said that, I do expect to win.

  21. mark
    4:03 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t see us winning up there. They will rain threes and beat us on the offensive boards. Hope I’m wrong. Would be a really nice win.

  22. jeff jackson
    4:32 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    luck smuck uck puck buck cuck duck kuck muck cats are hungry and will get full

  23. jeff jackson
    4:34 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    double or nothing ……………. sooner than later your luck runs out