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Digger Deeper: Mike Brey’s November Win Streak

(Apologies for the Digger Phelps inspired title which is possibly the worst pun in the long history of puns, but it had to be done.  After all you can’t know what funny is without experiencing mass levels of unfunny.)


Later tonight, Kentucky will take on Mike Brey’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana.  This will certainly be another early season test for the Wildcats as the Irish are 6-1 on the season and are looking to pull off an upset against a top-10 opponent.  Much has been made recently over the difficulty of Notre Dame’s home arena, Purcell Pavilion, and rightfully so.  Brey’s Irish have taken an incredible 45 of their last 47 home games dating back to the 2009-10 season, which is even difficult for traditionally elite teams like Kansas and Duke.  An even more impressive feat than the previously mentioned streak is their November home record under Brey, a perfect 43-0.   A stat like that is certainly concerning for a team like Kentucky who’s still very much in the process of breaking in an entirely new roster, but just how concerning is Notre Dame’s November streak?  To find out, I researched Notre Dame’s past November home opponents (since 2002) to determine their average margin of victory, and more importantly, their strength of schedule during that time.


Since I used’s advanced data, which dates back to 2002, I was not able to count the strength of all 43 opponents, rather only 40 of them, but this still gives more than enough information to make a reasonable conclusion.  After researching and compiling the data of their November home record under Brey, the first thing that jumps off the page is their average margin of victory, 23.2 points.  During this streak the Irish have outscored their opponents by an average score of 81.4-58.2, which is certainly impressive, even more so when you consider the typical inexperience of teams during early season basketball. However, in the 40 games that I’ve compiled, the average rank of teams faced by Brey’s Irish is 245th, which is poor to say the least.  In fact, during November, the strongest opponent Notre Dame has ever faced at home under Brey were the 61st ranked Hofstra Pride in 2005 (they won 69-50).  Given the collective strength of their opponents, it’s pretty easy to see that the 43-0 record is a bit misleading.


While it’s easy to detract from their home record due to strength of schedule, 43-0 is 43-0, no matter how you slice it.  This type of scheduling isn’t exclusive to Notre Dame either; teams like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Duke typically don’t play a murderers row in November.  However, this will be the first time under Mike Brey that Notre Dame will face an elite team at Purcell Pavilion during November, so it will be interesting to see if his team can knock off the typical early season rust against Kentucky. Likewise it’ll be interesting to see how the Wildcats react to their first hostile environment tonight.  Both teams certainly have their strengths and weaknesses, but it’s undeniable that the Irish are strong at home (just ask Syracuse).  Many an elite opponent have fallen in South Bend, that being said, Kentucky should be on high alert tonight.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

29 Comments for Digger Deeper: Mike Brey’s November Win Streak

  1. DiggerPhelps
    2:02 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Listen to me! Listen to me! From now on I will use a yellow highlighter because it matches my teeth.

  2. SexnNursinHomes
    2:05 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Brey looks like Chet from Weird Science.

  3. Judas Beisner
    2:08 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    We AINT losing!!!!

  4. MemphisCat
    2:09 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Attention Notre Dame, cupcake city isn’t walking into the arena tonight. Looks like Notre Dame will be looking to start another streak after their first loss at home in November in a while. Go Cats!!!

  5. DiggerPhelps
    2:09 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    As much as I hate the fact that UK is the “Gold Standard” in College hoops, I do not see that ND has the players to beat The Wildcats. However, this is our day! UK fans please do not ruin our day. I believe that the game will be enough to ruin our day.

  6. DiggerPhelps
    2:11 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    I may switch to a brown highlighter to match my underpants after UK kicks the Sh** out of us tonight.

  7. Cards
    2:12 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Where did all the BBN arrogance go???? Got smashed by Duke and now running for the hills?? C’mon man!!

  8. too easy
    2:13 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Digger deeper? I hardly e…..oh nevermind.

  9. Poop Tooth
    2:18 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    7. When has any UK fan been arrogant this year? We know what we are. We are coming off of a national championship (beating your cards in the process) and have a team full of freshmen that probably won’t be playing at an elite until conference play. As intelligent fans we realize that it is entirely possible for us to drop games early. And it is worth nothing that our young, completely inexperienced and “deer in headlights” freshmen had the same result against Duke as your your veteran team did. Go get a hobby and worry about your own team

  10. Judas Beisner
    2:18 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    7. The Cards did well against Duke though. I mean………..They didnt have Gorgui though…..

  11. redandyz
    2:20 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Vegas odds has this basically at a dead heat. Oddsmakers and bettors not putting much faith in BBN right now. I predict that ND pulls out a close one and beats UK. ND fans and student rish the court, and all you guys can cry about tomorrow is how “immature” they all acted, rather than face how immature your BB team is.

  12. TheRealHambone
    2:25 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Hey #11… Dec. 29th…it’s coming.

  13. MJ4UK
    2:27 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Wouldnt be gameday without the Louisville Trolls #7, #11

  14. Stoops Says
    2:29 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    I gave Cal my scouting report for onight.
    Run on them, they cannot stop the run.

  15. Stoops Says
    2:29 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink


  16. Beavis
    2:33 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    If you have a problem or a weakness,,,,you always try and pin that on someone else. Thus we get comments like those from # 7

  17. MJ4UK
    2:49 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    One more thing #11, the reason our basketball team is immature is because UK wins titles, puts kids in the NBA, and totally dominates the college game, thus players leave early…A situation that is rather unfamiliar for your team due to the fact that ALL of your players have sucked enough from day one to manage sticking around for four years.

    Immaturity does not upset true UK fans at all, it just means UK has been winning at a high level for several years!!

  18. Not A Cards Fan
    2:53 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Kiss the Championship Ring!

    UL to ACC, then departure of Fla St. and Clemson. Followed by departure of UNC and Duke.
    Left in “new” Big East, which will begin unraveling within two years. UL starting all over again…always chasing but never catching up.
    UL once again second fiddle, as usual.
    Searching for national recognition but cannot attain it.

    What does it say about the two programs when Petino coaches at UK for 10 years and has 3 final 4’s and a championship and has been at UL longer and has 2 final 4’s and zero championships? It says, UK dominate on national scene and UL a chaser, wantabe.
    Can almost understand your frustration and jealously.
    It must be maddening to live in the same state with the iconic bb program and continue to chase us.

  19. Not A Cards Fan
    2:53 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Above post for #7 Cards

  20. BigBrother
    2:57 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Card Fans, when you actually win a National Championship you can run your mouth. You have lost 4 straight games to us, we have been to back to back Final Fours, won a National Championship and we started this year ranked 3rd in the country in a “Rebuild Year” and oh by the way we sign the #1 recruiting class every year. Really, you want to talk trash LOL???? UL fans are so dumb! How about you just enjoy another year of injuries and Pitino choking and not winning the Championship because he will once again Choke and not cut down the nets which will make 1986 even that much more of a distant memeory.

    By the way, enjoy the ACC and being Duke and NC’s little brother and enjoy being Florida States little bit-h as you will never win the ACC Championship and the ACC isnt even that good of a football conference. Also enjoy the next several months of watching all the worthy teams in the ACC bolt to a better conference and you will be stuck again basically in the Big Least AGAIN.

    It just seems no matter what conference your in or who you think you are you will always be somebody’s Little Brother. Your always our Little Brother but now we can add Duke and NC to the list of Big Brothers you have.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha LOL

    Oh and sure hope Ol Charlie doesnt leave to take an SEC Job like the National Media is predicting.


  21. Never Nervous
    3:04 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Pervous here….how old must one be to apply for social security?
    Think I qualify.

    Hard to believe it has been that long since I was young and UL bb was relevant.

  22. Never Nervous
    3:05 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe Pervus? So old I can’t remember how to spell it.

  23. truth
    3:14 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    You lost all crediility when you said it would be an upset if UK lost when every book in the country has them as the underdog. I am a hard core Kentucky fan but this is not a good spot for them at all. They are a freshman lead team playing their first road game in a very hostile environment aginst a veteran team. Not to mention the cats have point guard issues against a very good defensive team in that crazy environment. The 1-2 points you will have to lay on Notre Dame is a gift in this spot even though Kentucky is the more talented squad. College basketabll is all about situations and handicaping 101 tells you that the Line here is off by about 5 points. In the long run the cats will be very good but tonights not the night.

  24. Cathead
    3:14 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Be a good game but I believe the cats will win. Can’t wait. Even if we do lose it don’t really matter. We’ve got a very young team

  25. Vegas
    3:22 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    23, sorry to correct you but not all books have UK as underdog.
    I am sure John Short has UK by something like 5 bigens. LOL

  26. Eye Rish
    3:25 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    CATS lose the fight tonight against the Irish.
    It has been preordained.

  27. Father Sanduskey
    3:30 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Boys will be boys. Glad to be the shower attendant for the Irish.

  28. Chuck
    3:59 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    My God how long has Peyton Siva been at UofL? Cal’s getting 1 and done’s, Petino’s getting 10 and done’s!

  29. UL Stat Man
    4:32 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    28, Siva was a redshirt freshman the last year Crum coached at UL.