Last July, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey appeared on 670 The Score (the flagship radio station of DePaul basketball), and expressed interest in Notre Dame being DePaul’s first opponent in the Blue Demons’ new arena.
On Wednesday, FanRag Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted that Brey had gotten his wish.
Notre Dame will be DePaul's first opponent in its new arena next November as part of a H+H series, per sources. Return game in SB in 18-19.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 12, 2016
Whether you want to call Notre Dame and DePaul a rivalry (they’ve played 90+ times in the last century) or not is entirely up to you, but there’s no denying that this is significant. Opening a new arena is a big deal and should be treated as such. You need a big-name opponent instead of, say, Grambling State, who DePaul opened against three years ago and who have 13 wins in three seasons.
DePaul has also become sneakily good at recruiting certain parts of Indiana, and playing a home and home against one of the four best college basketball teams in the state can be beneficial.
DePaul and Notre Dame last played in 2013 in the final season of the “old” Big East. The Fighting Irish are 53-38 in the all-time series.