Indianapolis, IN – The 18th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers put their header with Butler and Purdue colliding in the other matchup.
Mike Brey's Irish have certainly faced their share of adversity early on this season, including the loss of star forward Tim Abromaitis to injury. Notre Dame is 7-4 on the year, but has followed up two straight losses with back-to- back wins over Maine (87-78) and most recently, Dartmouth (65-47).
Tom Crean is in his fourth season with the Hoosiers and could have his best team to date, Indiana is undefeated on the season at 9-0 and comes into this contest brimming with confidence, after knocking off formerly top-ranked Kentucky last weekend, 73-72. The Hoosiers are seeking their first 10-0 start since the 1989-90 season.
Indiana holds a 47-21 lead in the all-time series with Notre Dame, but the Irish have won two straight meetings. The last time these teams met was in the 2008 Maui Invitational, an 88-50 rout for the Irish.
Abromaitis has played in only two games this season, so the Irish have had the opportunity to adjust to life without him on the floor. A lack of offensive firepower could be a concern the rest of the way though, as Notre Dame is averaging a modest 71.0 ppg on .441 shooting. Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant are the top scoring options going forward, averaging 13.9 and 12.4 ppg, respectively. Scott Martin (9.4 ppg), Pat Connaughton (8.4 ppg) and Jack Cooley (8.3 ppg) provide limited depth. Cooley led the way in the win over Dartmouth last time out, hitting 9-of-11 from the floor, en route to a game- high 22 points. Alex Dragicevich added 15 points to the victory, while Joey Brooks chipped in with 13.
Indiana posted its first win over a top-ranked team since 2002, as it came in dramatic fashion, with a three-pointer at the buzzer by Christian Watford. It was a fitting end for Watford, who led all scorers with 20 points. Four other Hoosiers notched double digits in the win. Victor Olapido netted 13 points, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls added 11 points apiece, while Will Sheehey came off the bench to add 10. The Hoosiers are undefeated this season and the main reason is their shooting accuracy from all over the floor. The team is averaging 83.7 ppg and doing it on 51.2 percent shooting overall, including 45.8 percent from three-point range. Indiana has a plethora of scoring options, with five players currently averaging double digits. Zeller leads the way with 15.0 ppg and is also the team's top rebounder (7.4 rpg). Olapido is next in line at 12.3 ppg, followed by Sheehey (11.6 ppg), Watford (11.4 ppg) and Hulls (11.2 ppg).