April 17, 2007
Matchups for the ninth annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge have been determined with the event featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner's Cup on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
For the third consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games (an increase from nine in the six previous years) from 11 different college campuses and include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games. This year's event will be played on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (November 26-28).
This year's schedule will be highlighted by the first-ever meeting between basketball powers Wisconsin and Duke, a rematch of last year's Ohio State-North Carolina Challenge game and first-ever Challenge showdowns -- Georgia Tech-Indiana, Wake Forest-Iowa, Boston College-Michigan, N.C. State-Michigan State and Virginia Tech-Penn State.
2007 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule (ALL TIMES ET)
Monday, Nov. 26
7 p.m. ESPN2 Wake Forest at Iowa
Tuesday, Nov. 27
7 p.m., ESPN - Georgia Tech at Indiana
7:30 p.m., ESPN2 - Minnesota at Florida State
8 p.m., ESPNU - Northwestern at Virginia
9 p.m., ESPN - Wisconsin at Duke
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Purdue at Clemson
Wednesday, Nov. 28
7 p.m., ESPN - N.C. State at Michigan State
7:30 p.m., ESPN2 - Illinois at Maryland
8 p.m., ESPNU - Boston College at Michigan
9 p.m., ESPN - North Carolina at Ohio State
9:30 p.m., ESPN2 - Virginia Tech at Penn State
2007 Challenge highlights:
First-Ever Meeting: ESPN will televise the first-ever meeting between traditional programs Wisconsin and Duke. Duke has won its previous eight Challenge games.
Challenge Rematches: Ohio State, a participant in the 2007 National Championship game, will play North Carolina, an Elite Eight team in the 2007 Tournament, in a rematch of last year's Challenge game, won by North Carolina 98-89. Another rematch from last year will pit Illinois at Maryland. Last year, Maryland won 72-66 and also defeated Illinois 76-63 in the 2001 Challenge.
Unfamiliar Opponent: Georgia Tech and Indiana's first Challenge matchup will also mark the first time the teams have met since 1969, an 87-65 Georgia Tech victory.
ESPNU Televises Two Games: For the third consecutive year, ESPNU will televise two games, both at 8 p.m.: Northwestern at Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 27 and Boston College at Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Commissioner's Cup: The ACC has won the Commissioner's Cup the previous eight years.
Since 2000, these two conferences have combined to make 14 Final Four appearances and captured four of the last eight NCAA Championships. In addition, the ACC and Big Ten rank either first or second in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, victories and Final Four appearances.
Big Ten highlights include:
Final Four Frenzy: With Ohio State advancing to the 2007 Final Four, the Big Ten has accumulated the most Final Four appearances with 39 (ACC - 38) and ties the SEC with the second-most national titles (10) in college basketball history. The only other conference to reach double-figures in national championships is the Pac-10 with 15 titles. Since the inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1939, the Big Ten has recorded the most appearances of any conference in the Big Dance with 180 (ACC, 167) and has the second-most NCAA Tournament victories with 290 (ACC, 323).
Five Different Programs Since 2000: The Big Ten is the only conference since 2000 to advance five different programs to the Final Four. The ACC and Big 12 have each had four different schools reach the national semifinals over that time span, followed by the Big East (3), SEC (2) and Pac-10 (2). Michigan State leads the Big Ten with three appearances (2000, 2001 and 2005) while Illinois (2005), Indiana (2002), Ohio State (2007) and Wisconsin (2000) have each earned a Final Four spot since 2000.
Nine-Year Plan: Over the last nine NCAA Championships, Big Ten teams rank second in winning percentage, while finishing third among all conferences in victories. The Big Ten's winning percentage of .633 is second only to the ACC (.669), while the conference ranks third with 76 triumphs behind the ACC (79) and Big East (78).
Championship Run: For the fourth time in the last eight years, a Big Ten program advanced to the national championship game. Michigan State defeated Florida, 89-76, to claim the 2000 title. Indiana fell to Maryland, 64-52 in 2002. Illinois was defeated by North Carolina, 75-70, in the 2005 finals, while Ohio State suffered an 84-75 loss to Florida in this year's national championship game. Overall, the Buckeyes became the eighth different Big Ten program to compete in the title game. Indiana leads the conference contingent with six national final appearances, followed by Ohio State (5), Michigan (3), Michigan State (2), Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Purdue (1) and Wisconsin (1).
The Nation's Best Fans: The Big Ten has led the nation in total attendance in each of the last 30 years (through the 2005-06 season). During the 2006-07 campaign, the conference broke the two-million mark in all games for the 15th straight year, while also reaching the one-million plateau for conference games only for the 30th consecutive season. In 2006-07, a total of 2,470,250 patrons passed through the turnstiles for 196 games for an average attendance of 12,652. In Big Ten contests, 1,200,542 fans flocked to conference arenas for 88 games for an average of 13,643 per outing, the highest since the 2001-02 campaign (13,790).
Non-Conference Success in 2006-07: With a 128-45 record this season, the Big Ten posted the most non-conference victories in conference history, eclipsing the mark of 119 triumphs set during the 1988-89 season. During the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Ten closed out the year with the best out-of-conference winning percentage in over six years at .767 (115-35).