For the first time in the 116-year history of Colorado basketball, here come the Irish.

On Wednesday, tournament organizers released the full schedule for the 2016 Legends Classic, and CU's first game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn pits the Buffs against Notre Dame for the first time in program history.

CU takes on the Fighting Irish on November 21 at 5 p.m. MST. The game will air on ESPN 2.

Notre Dame has reached consecutive Elite Eights under coach Mike Brey, but the Irish lost two key figures from that run in guard Demetrius Jackson, a second-round pick of the Boston Celtics, and forward Zach Auguste. Notre Dame won the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

The Buffs will take on either Texas or Northwestern in their final game at the Barclays Center on Nov. 22. Texas reached the NCAA Tournament this past spring and Northwestern went 20-12.

"To play at the Barclays Center on the east coast, it's a totally different environment against a national program," CU head coach Tad Boyle said. "It's a great game for our program. Mike Brey has done a great job there and they're going to be good again."

Wednesday's announcement also confirmed CU's home opponents in the first two games of the Legends Classic. The Buffs will host Seattle on Nov. 14 followed by a date Nov. 17 against Louisiana-Monroe. Times for both home games will be determined later.


While a win against Notre Dame would be a highlight of Boyle's tenure at CU, the Buffs' last meeting against Seattle was perhaps the low point. Relegated to the College Basketball Invitational in 2015 after a disappointing 15-17 regular season, CU suffered a 72-65 season-ending defeat at Seattle — a loss many Buffs cited as a springboard to a 2015-16 campaign that saw the program return to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.

With a December home date against Xavier essentially cancelling out last season's neutral-court opener against Iowa State, Notre Dame could prove to be a significant upgrade against the next-best opponent from CU's nonconference slate in 2015-16, SMU.

Unlike this past season, when CU suffered narrow defeats against Iowa State and SMU, the Buffs hope to turn the tables in matchups against Xavier and Notre Dame likely to draw wide national television audiences. A possible matchup against Texas would only bolster what looks to be a somewhat improved strength-of-schedule rating for the Buffs.

"It's a challenging one," Boyle said. "I don't usually compare year-to-year because that's hard to do. But last year we played SMU, which was a top-10 caliber team, and know we get a really good Notre Dame team. It's a heck of a schedule and it's going to be a heck of a challenge."

Pat Rooney: or