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Illinois to play Notre Dame in 2015 Big Ten vs. ACC Challenge

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The Illini will host the Fighting Irish in the Big Ten vs. ACC Challenge.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the Illinois Fighting Illini will be hosting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 2015 Big Ten vs. ACC Challenge on December 2nd. The Illini will be playing their home games in Springfield to start the year, but this matchup is expected to be the first game played in the newly renovated State Farm Center. This will be Illinois' first home game in the annual challenge since 2012 when they hosted Georgia Tech.

Here's the full schedule:

Notre Dame went 32-6 during the 2014-15 season and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to Kentucky. Star guard Jerian Grant has graduated, but the Irish will still have plenty of weapons this upcoming season--most notably senior forward Zach Auguste and junior guard Demetrius Jackson.

After going 19-14, Illinois will be losing some offensive and defensive firepower with the departures of seniors Rayvonte Rice and Nnanna Egwu. However a top-15 recruiting class reports to campus in June and, when combined with Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn, and other returning players, this should be an improved squad.

This will be the fist contest between the two programs since 2003, when the No. 5 seed Irish defeated No. 4 seed Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In addition to this contest, Illinois will also be playing Providence in the first ever Gavitt Tipoff Games (Big Ten vs. Big East challenge).

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