May 17, 2011
The 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Nov. 29-30 will be highlighted by Duke at Ohio State and Wisconsin at North Carolina -- four traditional power programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2011-12 season – and 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 by ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, 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.
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 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 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.
• Following a First with a Rematch: Georgia Tech and Northwestern will follow the first meeting between the programs (Northwestern, 91-71) with a second consecutive Challenge showdown.
• First Challenge Matchups: 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, No. 23 Michigan at Virginia, Miami at Purdue, Clemson at Iowa, Indiana at North Carolina State, Penn State at Boston College, Virginia Tech at Minnesota and Wake Forest at Nebraska.
• Four’s a Charm?: Illinois 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
Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles: North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001 and 2010) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances.