Michigan and Notre Dame have a rich history playing each other on the football field. In fact, it’s one of the greatest rivalries in college football history.
But the two schools don’t have much of a history in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan and Notre Dame last played each other in the NCAA Tournament 40 years ago.
The Wolverines will play the Fighting Irish on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Michigan made it to Brooklyn after beating Tulsa 67-62 in the First Four on Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio. The Wolverines will have the No. 11 seed, while Notre Dame is the No. 6 seed. The winner will face the winner of No. 3 West Virginia-No. 14 Stephen F. Austin in the second round on Sunday at Barclays.
“I think it’s exciting for both fan bases,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “There’s no question the Notre Dame-Michigan thing runs deep. I think it’s got both fan bases — and our players feel great. They feel that. I think it gives a little added extra energy to it, and we kind of had a week-long buildup even though Michigan had to win, and they did a heck of a job winning a close game.”
Michigan-Notre Dame are slated to play the final game of Friday’s four-game schedule. West Virginia and Stephen F. Austin are scheduled to tip at 7:10 p.m., with Michigan-Notre Dame following 30 minutes after the conclusion of West Virginia-Stephen F. Austin.
“This is a great town for us,” Brey said about playing in Brooklyn. “This is a great Notre Dame town. And really being in the city now for a day, it reminds me of my old Big East days this time of year.
“There’s no question, for our fans and our subway alums in this town, this is a great Notre Dame town. I just hope they make curfew tonight on St. Patrick’s Day, but I doubt that will happen.”
Michigan and Notre Dame last met in the 1976 NCAA Tournament, with Michigan winning 80-76 in the regional semifinals. That Michigan team, led by future NBA players Rickey Green and Phil Hubbard, lost in the national championship game to Big Ten rival Indiana, which finished the season with a perfect 32-0 record. The 1976 Notre Dame team was led by future NBA star Adrian Dantley and Toby Knight, who was picked by the Knicks in the second round of the 1977 draft.
Michigan and Notre Dame also played in the 1974 NCAA Tournament, with Michigan winning again, 77-68, in the regional semifinals.
Michigan and Notre Dame have played each other a total of 22 times in basketball, including the two NCAA Tournament games. They also met four times in the NIT, with Michigan winning three. Michigan leads the overall series, 15-7.
In terms of football history, Michigan and Notre Dame have played 42 times, with the first game played in 1887 and the last in 2014. Michigan leads the series 24-17-1.