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Notre Dame, UCLA to renew basketball rivalry

Notre Dame’s Rex Pflueger (0) drives in during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colgate Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. | Robert Franklin/AP

Notre Dame announced Friday a home-and-home series with its historic rival UCLA. The Irish will travel to Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 8, 2018 and the Bruins will play in South Bend in 2019.

“The Notre Dame – UCLA basketball series is synonymous with college basketball,” Irish head coach Mike Brey said. “We will get to play in front of our great Southern California fan base, take Rex Pflueger back to the Mater Dei area during his senior year with us and bring a historic rival back onto our schedule.”

A rising junior Pflueger, from Dana Point, California, was the 2014-15 Orange County Register Player of the Year at Mater Dei.

The Bruins hold a 28-20 lead in the all-time series which was one of the top college basketball rivalries of the 1970s. The Irish and Bruins met every season from 1966 through 1984.

Their most famous matchup occurred on Jan. 19, 1974 when Notre Dame upset top-ranked UCLA, to snap the Bruins’ NCAA record 88-game winning streak. The Irish also upset top-ranked UCLA in 1971 to bookend the 88-game run. From 1974 through 1980, the two teams met 15 times with Notre Dame claiming a victory in nine of those matchups.

The Irish and Bruins have met on and off since 1985, with the last matchup a 84-73 Notre Dame victory in Purcell Pavilion on December 19, 2009.