Can Irish Beat Kentucky? History Of Slaying Giants On Their Side

CLEVELAND (CBSNewYork/AP) — Notre Dame isn’t a basketball powerhouse, but they have a history of coming up with big wins playing against No. 1 ranked teams.

With undefeated Kentucky facing Notre Dame Saturday for a shot in the Final Four, it will be familiar territory for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame has beaten the No. 1 team eight times, including breaking UCLA’s 88-game winning streak in 1974. Notre Dame had been the last team to beat the Bruins, defeating the then-No. 1 team in 1971.

Notre Dame is in a four-way tie for fifth place for the most wins over the No. 1 team in the AP poll, behind North Carolina (13), Maryland (10), UCLA (10) and Duke (nine).

The other Notre Dame victories over the No. 1 team:

— 1977 San Francisco 93-82

— 1978 Marquette 65-59

— 1980 DePaul 76-74 (2OT)

— 1981 Virginia 57-56

— 1987 North Carolina 60-58

— 2012 Syracuse 67-58

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant said after Thursday’s win over Wichita State. “We have one of the top (offenses) in the country, so they’re definitely going to have to defend us. And our defense has really ratcheted up here in the postseason, so we’ll be ready.”

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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