(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team has been paired with Illinois for the 2021 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Irish will travel to the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois, on Monday, November 29, 2021, to take on the Illini (tip time and television network will be announced at a later date).
The 2021 matchup will mark the third between Notre Dame and Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. In 2015-16, the Irish spoiled the opening of the State Farm Center with an 84-79 victory and then took down Illinois 76-74 at Purcell Pavilion during the 2018-19 event.
Notre Dame is 4-4 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Illinois is 9-13. Last season, the Irish fell to Ohio State at Purcell Pavilion 90-85, while Illinois defeated Duke 83-68 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The ACC is 12-7-3 all-time in the event, but the Big Ten has won the last two challenges in 2020 and 2019.
The Notre Dame – Illinois basketball series dates back to 1922 when the Illini claimed two victories on back-to-back days (Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, 1922). The two teams met regularly through the 1960s, but have only met three times (2003, 2015, 2018 – all Notre Dame victories) since 1973. Illinois leads the all-time series 27-15 and 11-2 on their home court.
The game with Illinois is the first non-conference game of the 2021-22 season to be confirmed, with many more coming over the next couple of months. The Irish will take part in the 2021 Maui Invitational (pairings are still to be determined) and will compete in 20 Atlantic Coast Conference games. Notre Dame will take on Boston College, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Louisville, NC State and Pittsburgh in a home-and-home ACC series this coming season. They will play host to Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and Virginia. The Irish will make road trips to Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.