Ohio State vs. Florida St. in Big 10/ACC Challenge rematch


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Ohio State, tabbed by some publications to be among the Top 5 teams nationally heading into the 2010-11 season, will travel to Florida State to take on the Seminoles in the 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes will meet FSU Nov. 30 in Tallahassee in a nationally-televised game on the ESPN family of networks with station and time to be determined.

This year’s event – featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup – will include 11 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten and Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest from the ACC.

For the sixth-consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU with ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise the remaining nine games. ESPN3.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts.

The Big Ten is the defending Challenge champion, defeating the ACC by a 6-to-5 margin a year ago. Road teams won six of the 11 games in 2009 and seven of the contests were decided by seven points or less, including four games by four points or fewer. Wisconsin handed Duke its first loss in Challenge history, defeating the then-No. 6 Blue Devils 73-69.  The ACC has won 10 Challenges.

Noting Ohio State: Ohio State finished the 2009-10 season with a 29-8 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the Big Ten regular season race, which earned the Buckeyes a share of the league title with Michigan State and Purdue. Ohio State defeated Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament title game before making the NCAA Sweet 16 after wins vs. UC-Santa Barbara and Georgia Tech in Milwaukee.

Ohio State returns six letterwinners and four of the team’s Top 5 scorers from last season. Gone is Evan Turner, a first team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year and winner of six national player of the year awards.

Junior William Buford is one of three returning scorers averaging 10 or more points a game (14.4 ppg.). He joins seniors David Lighty (12.6 ppg.) and Jon Diebler (13.0 ppg.) to form one of the most talented backcourts in the country. The trio will be complemented by one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, headlined by Columbus, Ohio, native Jared Sullinger, a center who is the Parade Magazine and Naismith High School Player of the Year for 2010.

Noting Florida State: Florida State finished the 2009-10 season with a 22-10 record and a 10-6 record in the ACC which gave the Seminoles a third place finish in the ACC standings.  The Seminoles advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and are one of only two teams to finish in the Top 4 of the ACC standings in each of the last two seasons.  The Seminoles return 11 of 13 letterwinners, four of their five leading scorers and three of their five top rebounders to a program that has tied the school record for wins in a two-year period.

Headlining the Seminoles’ returning players is junior Chris Singleton who was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year as well as to the All-ACC Third Team and the ACC All-Defensive team in 2010.  He averaged a career high 10.2 points, a career-high 7.0 rebounds and finished in the top five in the ACC in both steals (2.2 spg) and blocked shots (1.5 spg) as a sophomore.

The Ohio State-Florida State series: Ohio State is 4-0 all-time vs. Florida State. Prior to Ohio State’s win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge a year ago in Columbus (77-64), the teams last played in 1968 in Tallahassee, a 93-86 victory for the 16th-ranked Buckeyes. No. 1 Ohio State downed FSU in the series opener 72-57 in 1961 and then again in 1967, 76-69. The first two games were played in Columbus. Overall, Ohio State is 36-25 vs. the Atlantic Coast Conference, which includes Ohio State’s 75-66 victory over Georgia Tech in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Milwaukee. The Buckeyes own at least one victory over every member of the league except Clemson (0-1) and North Carolina State (0-1).

Buckeyes in the Challenge: Ohio State is participating in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the ninth-consecutive year and has a 3-5 record in the event. The Buckeyes first participated in the 2002 event against Duke in Greensboro, N.C., a 91-76 Blue Devils’ victory. Georgia Tech traveled to Ohio State in 2003 and won 73-53. The Buckeyes traveled to Clemson in 2004 and fell to the Tigers, 80-73. Ohio State defeated Virginia Tech in Columbus in 2005, 69-59, for its first victory in the event. Ohio State traveled to Chapel Hill in 2006 where the Tar Heels defeated the Buckeyes, 98-89. UNC brought its No. 1 ranking to Columbus in 2007 and won 66-55. The Buckeyes then claimed a come-from-behind victory at Miami (73-68) in November 2008. Florida State fell to the Buckeyes in 2009 at Value City Arena 77-64.

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