Notre Dame released its 2020-21 schedule less than three weeks from its season opener amid a cloud of uncertainty.
The Irish understood the slate they hoped in early November they could play would differ from the one they complete in March. There would be COVID-19 cancelations, postponed games, canceled games and new opponents added with a couple days’ notice.
All of that played out. Eight games were affected due to opponent COVID issues. Two non-conference opponents were added at the last minute.
Notre Dame and Mike Brey went 11-15 and 7-11 in the ACC last season. (ACC)
It was a constant wait for inevitable bad news.
Thursday evening’s release of the 2021-22 schedule, though, comes with a hopeful feeling of finality.
The Irish open their 31-game regular season slate Nov. 13 at home against Cal State Northridge. That’s the same day as Notre Dame’s football game at Virginia. Tip time for the basketball game will be determined once football learns of its start time two weeks in advance.
Notre Dame then hosts High Point on Nov. 16. It has six days off before the Maui Invitational, which begins Nov. 22 vs. Saint Mary’s. The Irish will play the next two days against to-be-determined opponents.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge game is Nov. 29 at Illinois. That’s followed by the ACC opener, a Dec. 3 trip to Boston College. Notre Dame breaks for final exams and returns Dec. 11 to host Kentucky. It is off for another week before playing Indiana Dec. 18 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the final year of the Crossroads Classic.
The home non-conference portion ends with games against Western Michigan (Dec. 20) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 22).
ACC games resume Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh, followed by a visit from Duke on New Year’s Day. The latter will be outgoing Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame then hosts North Carolina on Jan. 5, its first meeting with the Tar Heels’ since Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams’ retirement last spring.
The Irish travel to Georgia Tech Jan. 8, return home to play Clemson Jan. 12 and go on the road to meet Virginia Tech Jan. 15.
They wrap up non-conference play at Howard Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – in a game that was originally set for last year but canceled due to COVID-19 issues. It will take place this year, presumably with full capacity allowed at Howard’s Burr Arena.
The Bison are led by third-year head coach Kenny Blakeney, who played for Mike Brey at Duke in the 1990s. Rod Balanis, an Irish assistant since Brey’s hiring in 2000, joined Blakeney’s staff as the associate head coach this August. Balanis held that same role at Notre Dame from 2016-21, but had moved into an operations role this offseason.
Notre Dame resumes ACC play Jan. 22 at Louisville. N.C. State (Jan. 26) and Virginia (Jan. 29) visit Purcell Pavilion to end January.
The February portion opens at Miami (Feb. 2) and North Carolina State (Feb. 5). That’s followed by a home game vs. Louisville (Feb. 9), Clemson (road, Feb. 12), Boston College (home, Feb. 16), Wake Forest (road, Feb. 19), Syracuse (home, Feb. 22) and Georgia Tech (home, Feb. 26). Notre Dame plays two March regular season games: Florida State (road, March 2) and Pittsburgh (home, March 5).
The ACC tournament begins March 8 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
2021-22 Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Schedule
11/13 (Sat.): Cal State Northridge
11/16 (Tue.): High Point
11/22 (Mon.): St. Mary’s (Maui)
11/23 (Tue.): Maui TBA
11/24 (Wed.): Maui TBA
11/29 (Mon.): at Illinois
12/3 (Fri.): at Boston College – 6 p.m.
12/11 (Sat.): Kentucky
12/18 (Sat.): vs. Indiana (Crossroads Classic)
12/20 (Mon.): Western Michigan
12/22 (Sat.): Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
12/28 (Tue.): at Pitt – TBA
1/1 (Sat.): Duke – 6 p.m.
1/5 (Wed.): North Carolina – 9 p.m.
1/8 (Sat.): at Georgia Tech – 6 p.m.
1/12 (Wed.): Clemson – 9 p.m.
1/15 (Sat.): at Virginia Tech – 6 p.m.
1/17 (Mon.): at Howard
1/22 (Sat.): at Louisville
1/26 (Wed.): North Carolina State – 9 p.m.
1/29 (Sat.): Virginia – 4 p.m.
2/2 (Wed.): at Miami – 7 p.m.
2/5 (Sat.): at North Carolina State – 3 p.m.
2/9 (Wed.): Louisville
2/12 (Sat.): at Clemson – 7 p.m.
2/16 (Wed.): Boston College – 7 p.m.
2/19 (Sat.): at Wake Forest – 1 p.m.
2/22 (Tue.): Syracuse
2/26 (Sat.): Georgia Tech – 5 p.m.
3/2 (Wed.): at Florida State – 7 p.m.
3/5 (Sat.): Pittsburgh – 8 p.m.
3/8-12: ACC Tournament (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
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