SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame will tip off against No. 8 Kentucky in about 15 minutes in Purcell Pavilion.
The game, which is part of the SEC/Big East Challenge, matches two programs with different philosophies and styles.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey puts his team together with players he expects to stay for four and even five years, while Kentucky coach John Calipari has utilized one-and-done players, which led to the Wildcats winning last season's NCAA tournament title.
As for styles, Notre Dame will likely use its veteran savvy tonight and utilize its burn offense at times to force Kentucky into playing defense for long periods of time and to control the tempo.
The Wildcats will rely on their athleticism with freshmen Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Nerlens Noel leading the charge. While Kentucky will have the athletic edge, Notre Dame is not worried about giving up few highlight dunks.
“The kind of feed off their big-time plays, athletic plays,” Irish forward Jack Cooley said. “They are going to get dunks, and they are probably going to get a lot of them. We just got to remember those only count as two.”