Notre Dame to play Akron in Chicago

Updated: March 13, 2011, 11:05 PM ET

Notre Dame is sticking close to home for its NCAA tournament opener.

The second-seeded Irish (26-6) will play the 15th-seeded Akron Zips (23-12) in Chicago on Friday in a Southwest Regional game at the United Center.

"I'm proud of our group to earn a two seed," coach Mike Brey said. "We haven't been in two-seed territory in our program in a long, long time. Not only is it great for this team, I think it's great for our program, and I think it's a little bit of a -- maybe ...

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