Notre Dame Basketball: Crossroads Classic vs. Indiana

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 30: Bonzie Colson /

After dropping to 18th in the most recent AP Poll, the Notre Dame basketball team will look to regain credibility against Indiana this Saturday.

Notre Dame (8-2) will meet up against in-state rival Indiana (5-5) Saturday at 2:30 PM ET for the Crossroads Classic. And, the Irish are in need of a win.

In their strongest points of the season, Notre Dame has looked great. Even receiving some Final Four consideration, the Irish were ranked as high as fifth in the country. The shaky game vs. Michigan State and a no-show performance against Ball State has Notre Dame searching for  some credibility once again. A win over IU would not necessarily do that, but it would be the next step.

The Hoosiers have played some decent games this season as well as some not so good ones. The season got off to a disastrous start with a 90-69 loss to Indiana State. But since, Indiana fought hard against Duke and Louisville. Both games resulted in losses but gave a reason for optimism.

While Notre Dame is looking to bounce back, they will have to do it defensively first. Although the Hoosiers shoot inconsistently from the arc, they are still volume shooters from downtown. If they decide to connect those shots, Notre Dame faces a tough battle.

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Notre Dame has faced their fair share of shooting struggles as well, hence the Ball State game. With Matt Farrell worked his way out of his shooting slump with a 24-point performance on 8-of-13 shooting.

This game could become a shootout. The easiest way for Notre Dame to put this one away easily would be where they are struggling the most, rebounding.

Rebounding is what killed Notre Dame against Michigan State and Ball State. When Martinis Geben and Bonzie Colson cannot rebound, Notre Dame is forced to shoot ridiculous numbers.

Colson will have his hands full on the defensive end as well. Slowing down Juwan Morgan will be no easy task for any of the Irish player. Morgan has exploded this season by putting up stellar numbers in six of his last seven games.

The Irish will look to have the same strong presence from their backcourt as they did against Delaware. Matt Farrell and T.J Gibbs came away with 24 and 21 points respectively.

They will not have to put up those numbers, but a solid performance will be needed. Indiana is a scrappy team. They will play to the level of their competition often, which could give fans in Bankers Life Fieldhouse an excellent game.

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If anything, Notre Dame needs a solid game from their key players to bring the confidence and credibility back into South Bend.