WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's basketball team opens its 100th season on Saturday evening as the Cardinals take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. CUA returns all five starters, including a pair of All-Conference performers, off a team that won 18 games a season ago, and is this year's preseason pick to win the Landmark Conference. Notre Dame has already played once this season, defeating NAIA member Marian by a score of 85-52 on November 1 at the Joyce Center. Scott Martin and Tim Abromaitis scored 15 points apiece to lead the Fighting Irish.
While CUA has never played Notre Dame before, the Cardinals have taken on six members of the current BIG EAST throughout the program's 99-year history. CUA has played DePaul, Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John's, Villanova and West Virginia a total of 44 times and earned 11 wins.
2010-11 is the 100th season of men's basketball at Catholic University. The program, which began in 1910, has won 1,167 games and posted a winning percentage of .529 in its first 99 seasons. CUA won the 2001 Division III National Championship and has advanced to one Final Four (2001), two Elite Eights (2000, 2001), Five Sweet Sixteens (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) and earned 13 NCAA Tournament bids. The Cardinals have captured eight conference tournament championships and produced 13 All-Americans.
CUA Head Coach Steve Howes and Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey are both natives of the Washington, D.C. area who played basketball in the same high school league, albeit at different times (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference). Howes attended Good Counsel High School and later graduated from Catholic University in 1996. Brey attended DeMatha High School where he played basketball for the legendary Morgan Wootten and later went onto earn his bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1982. Howes and Brey also both coached at their high school alma maters prior to entering the collegiate coaching ranks.
The Fighting Irish finished the 2009-10 season with a record of 23-12 including a 10-8 mark within the BIG EAST. Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals of its conference tournament before falling to eventual Final Four participant West Virginia. The Irish then fell to Old Dominion in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament by a score of 51-50 in New Orleans. This season, Notre Dame has been selected to finish seventh in the BIG EAST. Senior Tim Ambromaitis was named to the preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team after averaging 16.1 points and 4.7 rebounds a season ago. The Fighting Irish will tip off their regular season on November 12 when they play host to Georgia Southern.
CUA and Notre Dame will get things started at 7:00 on Saturday evening from inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. For more information on the contest, check out CUA's game notes.
Notre Dame will show live video of the contest at this link.
For more on CUA's historic trip to Notre Dame, check out Chris McManes' story on the Cardinals.
Read about CUA's tour of Notre Dame's campus as told by Chris McManes.