2000 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Pairings Set

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<font face=arial size=1><b>Will Solomon and the Tigers will take on Northwestern on Tuesday, Nov. 28.</b></font>
Will Solomon and the Tigers will take on Northwestern on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

GREENSBORO, NC -- The pairings have been set for the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a two-day competition matching two of the nation's top men's college basketball conferences. The nine-game event, which will be televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television, will take place the first Tuesday and Wednesday following Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29, from seven campus sites and two neutral sites. These two conferences were represented by three of last year's men's Final Four teams.

On both days, ESPN and ESPN2 will each present doubleheaders, while ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate the ninth game in the markets of the competing teams. ESPN and ESPN Regional Television (ERT) will again manage and market the event.

2000 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Notes:

· There will be two rematches from last year's Challenge. Each will take place at a different venue from 1999, including Illinois vs. Duke on ESPN from Greensboro Coliseum (last year, Duke defeated Illinois 72-69 at Chicago's United Center).

· The second rematch will feature two Final Four teams when North Carolina plays at National Champion Michigan State on ESPN2, which recently crossed the 70 million household mark faster than any network in cable history. In last year's Challenge, Michigan State knocked off No. 2-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

· Two neutral site games will take place, including Maryland vs. Final Four participant Wisconsin from Milwaukee's Bradley Center. (The other -- Illinois vs. Duke from Greensboro).

· Last year, the ACC captured the Commissioner's Trophy by winning five of the nine games in the Challenge.

Tuesday, Nov. 28

7 p.m. ESPN Wake Forest at Michigan

7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Northwestern at Clemson

9 p.m. ESPN Illinois vs. Duke (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.)

9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Georgia Tech at Iowa

Wednesday, Nov. 29

7 p.m. ESPN Purdue at Virginia

7:30 p.m. ESPN2 North Carolina at Michigan St.

9 p.m. ESPN Maryland vs. Wisconsin (Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisc.)

9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Penn State at N.C. State

TBD ERT* Minnesota at Florida State

* - Syndication by ESPN Regional Television. Also offered nationally by ESPN FULL COURT. Date/Time will be determined at a later date.

ESPN's Dick Vitale offered these thoughts on the ACC/Big Ten Challenge: "The most special thing about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is that it creates marquee matchups early in the season when we usually see blowouts, bargain-basement goodies and cupcake city. It gives both leagues a chance to showcase their talent in different situations. An event like this creates a lot of basketball fever."

Dick Vitale's pre-season Top 10 (subject to change pending freshman eligibility, injuries, etc.) for 2000-2001 includes three ACC and two Big Ten teams: 1. Duke, 2. Arizona, 3. North Carolina, 4. Kansas, 5. Stanford, 6. Maryland, 7. Michigan State, 8. Illinois, 9. Seton Hall, 10. Temple.

Future ACC Basketball Tournament Sites Released

Future sites for the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament were announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford. The sites for the Tournament were voted on by the league's nine faculty representatives.

The MCI Center in Washington, D.C., was selected as the site for the 2005 Tournament. The Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum will host both the 2006 and 2010 Tournaments while the Ice Palace in Tampa, Fla., will be the site for the 2007 Tournament. Charlotte, North Carolina, will be the host site for the 2008 Tournament and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga,, will be the site for the 2009 Tournament.

"We had outstanding proposals for our Men's Basketball Tournament from each of the cities selected," said Swofford. "We're excited that these five cities will be hosting the ACC Tournament as each of these sites have an enthusiastic commitment from their community. This 10-year rotation covers the geographic footprint of the Conference extremely well."

Future dates and sites for the ACC Tournament are as follows:

2001 March 8-11 Atlanta, Ga.

2002 March 7-10 Charlotte, N.C.

2003 March 13-16 Greensboro, N.C.

2004 March 11-14 Greensboro, N.C.

2005 March 10-13 Washington, D.C.

2006 March 9-12 Greensboro, N.C.

2007 March 8-11 Tampa, Fla.

2008 March 13-16 Charlotte, N.C.

2009 March 12-15 Atlanta, Ga.

2010 March 11-14 Greensboro, N.C.

Since being moved from NC State's Reynolds Coliseum, where it was held for 13 consecutive years (1954-66), the ACC Tournament has been held at the original Charlotte Coliseum, the Capital Centre in Landover, Md., the Omni in Atlanta, Ga., the current Charlotte (N.C.) Coliseum and the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum.

The inaugural ACC Tournament in 1954 attracted 39,200 fans for the seven games at Reynolds Coliseum. In each of the past two years a record 119,475 fans have attended the tournament. The last year that there was a "public" sale of ACC Tournament tickets was in 1966. Over the past two decades all of the tournaments have been sold out in advance as the tickets are equally distributed among the nine member institutions.

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