GREENSBORO -- The pairings for the third annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge have
been set, and the event will once again feature some of the top college
basketball programs in the country battling for conference supremacy and
the Commissioner's Cup. The nine-game Challenge will be televised by
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television on Tuesday and Wednesday,
November 27 and 28 from seven different college campuses and two neutral
sites. The Challenge will feature three of last year's NCAA Final Four
(Duke, Maryland, Michigan State); the past two NCAA Champions, Duke
(2001) and Michigan State (2000), and only the second meeting between
Indiana and North Carolina since 1988.
ESPN and ESPN2 will each present doubleheaders on both days of
the event. The ninth game will be produced and syndicated by ESPN
Regional Television in the markets of the competing teams; it will also
be offered nationally through ESPN FULL COURT (out-of-market pay
2001 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Notes:
* Conference Champs Meet: Defending National Champion and ACC
Tournament champion and regular-season co-champ Duke will square off
against Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa at the United Center in
Chicago, one of two neutral site games in the Challenge.
* Indiana vs. UNC: When Indiana meets North Carolina in Chapel
Hill, N.C., it will be only the second matchup between two of the most
storied men's college basketball programs since 1988 (Indiana defeated
North Carolina 82-73 in the 1999 Jimmy V Classic). The Tar Heels boast
the 3rd most NCAA Tournament appearances (34), 2nd most Tournament
victories (80) and most Final Four appearances (15) of any team. The
Hoosiers rank 4th (29), 6th (51) and 7th (7), respectively in the same
categories. Indiana leads the all-time series, 6-4.
* Challenge Firsts: Both Indiana and Ohio State will appear in the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the first time in the event's three-year
* ACC Looks for Three in a Row: Last year, the ACC took home the
Commissioners Cup, finishing with a 5-4 edge in Challenge victories for
the second straight year.
* Other highlights include: Big Ten regular-season co-champion
Illinois playing at ACC power Maryland...the other neutral site contest
(in addition to Duke/Iowa) between Big Ten regular season co-champion
Michigan State and Virginia at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond,
Va....Minnesota at Wake Forest and new coach Skip Prosser...Wisconsin
and new coach Bo Ryan at Georgia Tech.
Tuesday, Nov. 27 Wednesday, Nov. 28
7 p.m. ET ESPN Illinois @ Maryland 7 p.m. ESPN Wisconsin @ Georgia Tech
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 N.C. State @ Ohio State 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Michigan State vs. Virginia (Richmond Coliseum,Richmond, Va.)
9 p.m. ESPN Duke vs. Iowa 9 p.m. ESPN Indiana @ North Carolina
(United Center, Chicago, Ill.)
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Minnesota @ Wake Forest 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Florida St. @ Northwestern
TBD ERT* Clemson @ Penn 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 on the ACC/Big Ten Challenge:
"The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is great because it eliminates a lot of
cupcakes and makes you play a bona-fide game early. It has a
Tournament-type atmosphere and it features two of the premiere
conferences in the nation, year in and year out."
John Wildhack, ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming, on the
"Once again, these two great conferences will square off in what is fast
becoming a top early-season event for the college basketball fan. Over
two days, viewers will see compelling matchups, involving recent NCAA
champions, legendary programs, great arenas and premier players and
Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner, on the Challenge:
"We look forward to the third year of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The
first two years were outstanding for the players, coaches and fans as
the event provided an opportunity for two of the outstanding basketball
conferences in Division I to challenge each other. It is also a great
way for players and coaches to evaluate their teams early in the season.
When the Challenge was initiated two years ago, we had very high
expectations and they have been fulfilled. We believe the third edition
will be just as successful."
John Swofford, ACC Commissioner, on the Challenge:
"The ACC/Big Ten Challenge has developed into one of the most
anticipated events of the early college basketball season. The Challenge
provides our teams with outstanding television exposure and the
opportunity to play top-caliber opponents prior to conference play. We
are excited to be partners with the Big Ten, another conference which
has a great basketball tradition and ESPN."