UCLA-Notre Dame re­mains a ‘big test’

The Capital - - SPORTS -

Mar­ques John­son, Bill Walton, Adrian Dant­ley and Austin Carr on the court. Dig­ger Phelps and John Wooden on the side­lines. In those days, Notre Dame vs. UCLA was one of bas­ket­ball’s great­est ri­val­ries.

From 1960-70, UCLA won five matchups in a row by scores of 31, 29, 51, 13 and 31 points.

Carr helped Notre Dame to just its se­cond win in the se­ries in Jan­uary 1971, and that fall Phelps took over in South Bend. His over-thetop per­son­al­ity added to the ri­valry’s at­mos­phere.

Satur­day night’s na­tion­ally tele­vised game at Pauley Pav­il­ion will be the 49th in the se­ries, which UCLA leads 28-20.

From 1966-84, the Fight­ing Ir­ish and Bru­ins met ev­ery year and just twice in that stretch was nei­ther team ranked in the Top 25.

Nei­ther the Ir­ish (6-2) nor the Bru­ins (6-2) is ranked this week. The Ir­ish are com­ing off a two-point loss to Ok­la­homa in New York while UCLA has won two straight. The schools have five com­bined Sweet 16 ap­pear­ances since 2014.

The pin­na­cle of the ri­valry was Jan. 19, 1974, when Notre Dame ended UCLA’s men’s record 88game win­ning streak in South Bend, a game UCLA cen­ter Bill Walton has de­scribed as the most painful of his ca­reer.

UCLA later ended a 60game Notre Dame win­ning streak in South Bend.

“This is go­ing to be the next big test,” Bru­ins coach Steve Al­ford said. “That’s what we’re most ex­cited about.”

Allen, Lobo hon­ored:

Con­necti­cut will re­tire the num­bers of for­mer Huskies stars Ray Allen and Re­becca Lobo. The num­bers 34 and 50 will be­come the first re­tired by the school dur­ing a cer­e­mony in March.

In 2017, Lobo was the first UConn player in­ducted into the Nai­smith Me­mo­rial Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame. Allen was en­shrined in Septem­ber.

Lobo led the UConn women to a 35-0 record and the first of 11 na­tional cham­pi­onships in 1995. Allen was a first-team All-Amer­i­can in 1996 and led the men to an 89-13 record dur­ing his three sea­sons.

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