BLOOMINGTON, IN - DECEMBER 10: The fans rushed the court after the Indiana Hoosiers beat the Kentucky Wildcats 73-72 in the game at Assembly Hall on December 10, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-4) are set to take on the No. 18-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (9-0) in an intra-state rivalry game for the inaugural Close the Gap Crossroads Classic.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the No. 18 Indiana Hoosiers will renew their in-state rivalry on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. The Hoosiers (9-0) are coming off an amazing 73-72 buzzer-beater win over the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats, and are one of only nine teams in division one who are still undefeated at this point in the season. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish are scuffling at 7-4 overall, but have managed to post back-to-back wins against Main and Dartmouth after previously dropping four out of five games.
The Irish are struggling to find an identity after losing senior forward Tim Abromitis to a season-ending knee injury, but 6-foot-9 junior forward Jack Cooley has started to step up his game in response. He scored a career-high 22 points against Maine last Thursday, and then matched that scoring output in the team's next game against Dartmouth. During that stretch Cooley shot a combined 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the field and grabbed 23 rebounds. He leads the team in rebounds per game with a 7.9 average.
For the Hoosiers, they rely on a balanced attack that is currently ranked 8th in the nation in points per game (83.7), and features five different players that score at least 10 points per game. The offense is led by post threat Cody Zeller, who averages 15 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Here is some basic information on the matchup:
Game date, time: 3:30 p.m. CST, Saturday, Dec. 17th, 2011
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV channel: ESPN2, ESPN3
Radio: WSBT AM 960 (South Bend, Ind.); WLS AM 890 (Chicago, Ill.); UND.com
Spread: Indiana is currently favored by 9 points, and the over/under is currently set at 141.
For more on the Fighting Irish, be sure to visit One Foot Down. Hoosiers information and analysis is available at The Crimson Quarry. For more news and notes from around college basketball, visit SB Nation's college basketball news hub.