It's almost unbelievable that Michigan State and Notre Dame have not met in men's basketball since the 1979 NCAA tournament. That was the game in Market Square Arena in Indianapolis which MSU won 80-68 and went on to eventually win the national title. But they have not played since despite the schools' facing each other in virtually every other sport.
When I heard Wednesday morning that Notre Dame was joining the Atlantic Coast Conference, I immediately thought about the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. It is an obvious natural for the Spartans and Irish to meet, even two years in a row, once at each school's arena.
Notre Dame has not wanted to play the Spartans-- and Tom Izzo has told me repeatedly he would play Notre Dame "any time, any place, anywhere." But the way things work-- watch Notre Dame get paired up with Michigan instead.
Playing five ACC teams a year in football should make it easier for Notre Dame to win more consistently. Michigan State has a contract signed through 2031 although some years the two do not meet. Despite Notre Dame's five football assignments with the ACC, MSU hopes to continue its football relationship. But it's still amazing to me it's been 33 years since they last met in men's hoops.