It will be the first time the Fighting Irish will play in the invitational, which is entering its fourth year. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said he’s excited about playing in the event, especially at Freedom Hall.
“I know will be a great college basketball atmosphere,” he said.
Notre Dame and Kentucky have played at Freedom Hall 32 times, including every season from 1962 to 1988, with the Wildcats holding a 23-9 series advantage in games played in Louisville.
Kentucky coach John Calipari has pledged the Wildcats will continue to play at least one game there each season, with the goal of playing high-profile opponents. Kentucky beat UNC-Asheville 94-57 at Freedom Hall last November.
Freedom Hall has long been the home of Big East member Louisville, but the Cardinals will move to a downtown arena this fall.
Kentucky leads the overall series 41-18. The two teams last met in the regular season in 2004 in South Bend. They played again in 2009 when the Irish ended a 10-game losing streak to Kentucky by beating the Wildcats in the third round of the NIT.
The game Dec. 8 will be part of a doubleheader, with the Notre Dame-Kentucky game scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Seton Hall and Arkansas will play in the earlier game at 7 p.m.
On Dec. 11, Rutgers will play Auburn and Pittsburgh will face Tennessee at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Big East teams hold a 7-5 advantage against SEC teams in61/47 the first three years of the invitational.