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Jeff Kolpack, Published June 20 2013

Bison men's basketball lands road games at Ohio State, Notre Dame next season

FARGO – North Dakota State will have a men’s basketball road trip to remember next season. Win or lose.

The Bison will play at Ohio State and Notre Dame in December. The exact dates have yet to be finalized, but head coach Saul Phillips said they will be either Dec. 11 and 13 or the 11th and 14th.

The game with Ohio State of the Big Ten Conference comes one year after NDSU played at Indiana. The Fighting Irish will be entering their first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference in basketball.

“Ohio State is one of the premier venues in America,” Phillips said. “And Notre Dame just went through a significant renovation.”

The Bison will go into those venues with a team largely intact from last season’s 24-10 record and a runner-up finish in the Summit League tournament. They played in front of more than 17,000 at IU’s Assembly Hall early last season, a game in which NDSU hung tough until the last 10 minutes of the second half.

Indiana won 87-61.

“Obviously the final margin was not good, but I thought we competed at a reasonably high level,” Phillips said. “This team is experienced. Those are tall propositions (at Ohio State and Notre Dame), but I do know this: Our team has a lot of confidence, and those are the types of teams you need to go into places like that.”

Notre Dame has won at least 20 games in each of the last seven seasons.

Ohio State is a perennial national power.

The games are part of a three-year contract NDSU signed with the Gazelle Group, a sports and entertainment company. The Bison will play another high-major school on the road next year, but will also get three home games out of the deal.

The Indiana game last year was the first matchup in the contract. NDSU has yet to release its full 2013-14 schedule because not all of its games are finalized.

Phillips said starting guard Lawrence Alexander, who partially tore his Achilles’ heel late last month, will be in a walking boot for another week or two.

Meanwhile, incoming freshman recruit Carlin Dupree from Milwaukee scored a game-high 27 points in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 all-star game last week. The 6-foot-4 guard told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper he had something to prove.

“I just wanted to show I could compete at the next level,” he said. “A lot of guys hadn’t seen me play, so I wanted to get out there and show them (what I can do) and play my hardest in my last high school game.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia