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Could this be the start of something big in Ireland?

Is Notre Dame’s visit to Ireland the first of many to come by U.S. Colleges?
Notre Dame was the natural choice to be the first U.S. college to play in the Emerald Hoops International Tournament taking place this week at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

The Irish stopped off in Belfast and Limerick before moving tio Dublin for games against Ireland, Poland and Iceland in the round robin event.

If Basketball Ireland has its way, there may be more college teams coming over … and ESPN may tag along to televise the games.

‘‘We were at college basketball’s Final Four tournament earlier this year and we spoke to ESPN representatives there,” said Karl Donnelly of Basketball Ireland. "We are hoping to stage league games every November. These would be in-season competitive games that would be beamed back to the US and around the world by ESPN."

If so, the Irish might be advised to drive to the hoop a bit more. They lost a pre-tournament game to Notre Dame, 104-67, the other night before a full house in Limerick.