The Legends Classic decided on a change of plans for this year. Notre Dame, in turn, did too.
According to a report by Jon Rothstein, the Irish will not play in the 2020 Legends Classic, which had moved from its original location in Brooklyn to consolidate with other Northeast-based non-conference tournaments and become part of a larger bubble at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The Basketball Hall of Fame is putting on the new event.
The move or exact dates have not been announced, but Hall of Fame event director Greg Porcino told BlueandGold.com in September the target dates for the originally scheduled tournaments with their pre-existing fields are Nov. 25 through Dec. 4 in the bubble. Had Notre Dame chosen to stay in, the Legends Classic games would have been at or near the beginning of its 2020-21 schedule.
The Legends Classic was originally scheduled for Nov. 23-24 at Barclays Center, with Vanderbilt, UConn and USC as the other three teams. With the season postponed to Nov. 25, though, it needed to move. The tournament’s organizer, Gazelle Group, relocated its annual college basketball events to Connecticut in partnership with the Hall of Fame.
Notre Dame has not announced a non-conference schedule, and the ACC has not revealed a start date for conference games, but it is expected to include two in December. Rothstein reported Notre Dame is one of six ACC teams that will play a third league game in December, likely on Dec. 22. Per another Rothstein report, the league is targeting Dec. 15-16 and Dec. 29-30 for the other two December conference games.
If Notre Dame does not play in a non-conference tournament, it can play a maximum of five non-conference games. The NCAA lowered the maximum number of games to 25 for this season only, down from 31. The ACC’s 20 league games takes up most of that.
One game that will remain from Notre Dame’s original non-conference schedule is Dec. 12 at Kentucky, the start of a three-year series. Kentucky coach John Calipari told The Athletic he plans to honor that date. Brey also expressed to BlueandGold.com this summer a strong desire to play the Jan. 18 game at Howard no matter what happens with the season.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Crossroads Classic are still on for this season, though dates have not been set. Dec. 8-9 is the target for the former, per Rothstein.