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UCLA, Notre Dame to reignite rivalry next season

Northeastern v Notre Dame

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 19: Head coach Mike Brey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on in the first half against the Northeastern Huskies during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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Notre Dame and UCLA, who have reached the Sweet 16 five times combined since 2014, will reignite a series that has been dormant for eight years. They will play in Pauley Pavilion in Dec. of 2018 and follow that up with a game in South Bend in 2019.

The Irish and the Bruins, who, beginning next season, will be the two biggest brands representing Under Armour in college hoops, last played in 2009, which the Irish beat Ben Howland’s Bruins 84-73 in South Bend. That was the 48th meeting between the two schools, the most famous of which came in 1974, when Digger Phelps and Notre Dame snapped John Wooden’s 88-game winning streak.

“The Notre Dame-UCLA basketball series is synonymous with college basketball,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “We will get to play in front of our great southern California fan base, take Rex Pflueger back to the Mater Dei area during his senior year with us and bring a historic rival back onto our schedule.”

“We’re excited to add a big-time home-and-home series with Notre Dame to our future schedules,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “These schools have been playing each other for decades, so it’s always great to match up with Notre Dame. I have a ton of respect for Mike Brey and the fantastic job that he’s done with the Fighting Irish, and I know that one year from now, this is certainly a game our fans will be excited to watch. It’s great for our sport to have two tradition-rich programs taking center stage.”