Illini vs. North Carolina in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

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Pairings for the 12th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods have been determined. Illinois will host North Carolina at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Illinois takes on North Carolina for the fourth time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the Fighting Illini winning two of the three previous Challenge meetings, 92-65 at the Assembly Hall in 2002 and 68-64 at Chapel Hill in 2005.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to host North Carolina in this year’s Challenge,” Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said. “We’ve faced the Tar Heels a number of times since I’ve been here and each game has been competitive and intense and has gone down to the wire. Our players are already talking about the match-up. They’re looking forward to it and I’m sure the fans are as well. It will be a special atmosphere at The Hall on Nov. 30.”

For the sixth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise nine games with the remaining two telecasts on ESPNU. 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. Illinois contributed to the Big Ten’s victory with a thrilling 76-74 win at Clemson last season, erasing a 23-point second-half deficit to record the largest comeback win in Illini history.

NCAA Tournament Notes: The ACC (.665) and the Big Ten (.619) rank first and third, respectively, among conferences in NCAA Tournament winning percentage. Since 1988, the ACC (23) and the Big Ten (17) have had 40 of 92 Final Four teams and have won 10 national titles.

Teams from the ACC (347) and the Big Ten (312) have combined for 659 NCAA Tournament victories. The ACC (29) and the Big Ten (18) have combined to produce 37 percent of the No. 1 seeds since the NCAA started assigning seeds in 1979.

Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (9) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles—North Carolina (2005 and 2009), Duke (2001 and 2010), Maryland (2002), and Michigan State (2000). The ACC and the Big Ten also rank first and second, respectively, in NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances. The Big Ten leads the nation in all-time tournament bids (196), and the ACC is second (184).

First-Ever Meeting: Northwestern and Georgia Tech will square off in the first meeting between the two programs.

First Challenge Matchups: Six of the telecasts will feature first-ever Challenge matchups: Purdue at Virginia Tech, Michigan at Clemson, Georgia Tech at Northwestern, North Carolina State at Wisconsin, Indiana at Boston College and Maryland at Penn State.

Rematch: Ohio State and Florida State will meet in the Challenge for the second straight year. Ohio State won the first meeting, 77-64, a year ago in Columbus.

Familiar Foes: Illinois and North Carolina will meet in the Challenge for the fourth time, with Illinois winning two of the first three. Virginia and Minnesota will also meet for the fourth time in the event. Minnesota has won two of the first three.

Illinois fans rush the court after the game Demetri McCamey

2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (times and networks TBD)
Monday, Nov. 29
Virginia at Minnesota

Tuesday, Nov.30
North Carolina at Illinois
Ohio State at Florida State
Michigan at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Northwestern
Iowa at Wake Forest

Wednesday, Dec. 1
Michigan State at Duke
Purdue at Virginia Tech
North Carolina State at Wisconsin
Indiana at Boston College
Maryland at Penn State

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