The pairings for college basketball’s signature pre-conference event were announced today. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge Nov. 29-30 will be headlined by the Duke Blue Devils at the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers at the North Carolina.
This year has an expanded format to include newest Big Ten member Nebraska. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges.
The 2011 Challenge involves six teams ranked in an early preseason top 25, including three in the top five: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 21 Florida State and No. 23 Michigan Wolverines.
This year’s event will include 11 teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State and North Carolina from the ACC, and Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
the ACC has won 72 of the 119 games played in Challenge history with Duke leading the way with an 11-1 record. Boston College (6-0) is the only team with a higher winning percentage than the Blue Devils.
Duke, playing its third true road game in the last four years in the Challenge, is 3-1 all-time in Big Ten/ACC Challenge road games. The Blue Devils are 1-0 against Ohio State with a 91-76 win over the Buckeyes on Dec. 3, 2002 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles: Duke (2001 & 2010), North Carolina (2009 & 2005), Maryland (2002) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories (355), NCAA Tournament winning percentage (.665), and Final Four appearances (44) while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances (203).
The Big Ten won the Commissioner’s Cup for the second consecutive year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges. In the event of a 6-6 tie this year, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year.
· Nine of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina, No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State Spartans, No. 23 Michigan at Virginia, Miami at Purdue Boilermakers, Clemson at Iowa, Indiana at North Carolina State, Penn State at Boston College, Virginia Tech at Minnesota and Wake Forest at Nebraska.
· The Illinois Fighting Illini and Maryland will meet for the fourth time in the Challenge.
2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):
Tue, Nov 29
Miami at Purdue
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Illinois at Maryland
No. 23 Michigan at Virginia
Clemson at Iowa
No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State
Wed, Nov 30
Indiana at North Carolina State
Penn State on Boston College
No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State
Virginia Tech at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Nebraska
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina
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