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Notre Dame women's hoops embracing road challenges

Both Notre Dame basketball teams were home to practice at Purcell Pavilion on Tuesday, but that has been a rarity in the early part of the season.

Men's and women's hoops took long trips to play in tournaments last week, and will be hitting the road once again for some of the most difficult competition they will see all year.

The women's team picked up a championship in the Gulf Coast Showcase, winning three games over Thanksgiving weekend. Those included two over ranked South Florida, and defending national champion South Carolina in the title game.

Following that performance, the Irish moved to third in the latest AP poll. However, they will put their undefeated record on the line with two more road games against ranked teams in the coming days.

First will be 25th-ranked Michigan on Wednesday, followed by a marquee matchup against top-ranked UConn.

However, with the extensive road competition Notre Dame has experienced thus far, head coach Muffet McGraw hopes that will prove helpful in the next two games.

“We’d love to be playing in front of our fans," said McGraw. "That definitely gives us great motivation, but it’s been difficult. The travel has not been easy. We’ve been delayed pretty much every trip. They haven’t had a lot of rest and now to get on the bus, it’s going to be kind of nice to be on a bus, but still I think we’ve really prepared ourselves with the schedule we’ve played to head into this game against Michigan.”

Notre Dame is the only school in the country to boast top-five teams in both men's and women's basketball.

The Michigan game, part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, is set to tip Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Ann Arbor.

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