Clemson to travel to Iowa for 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

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CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson men’s basketball team will travel to Iowa City, IA to take on the University of Iowa on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Time and network designations will be determined at a later date. With Nebraska’s move into the Big Ten this season, the two-day event will now feature 12 games for the first time in its history. The ACC has won 10 of the 12 challenges to date.

Clemson has an 8-4 record in the history of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Tigers have won five out of their last seven games in the event, including three straight as the road team. Clemson won 96-88 at Penn State in 2005, 90-68 over Minnesota in 2006, and 76-74 in a come-from-behind effort at Illinois in 2008.

This will serve as the second meeting between the two schools, and first matchup in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. It will also be the first game played between the head coaches, Clemson’s Brad Brownell and Iowa’s Fran McCaffery. Both coaches were in their first season in 2010-11 at their respective school. Brownell owns a career record of 189-97 (.661) in nine seasons, while McCaffery is 262-197 (.571) in his 15 seasons as a Division I head coach.

The first meeting between the two teams took place during the 1962-63 season in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won 74-64 on Dec. 17, 1962 behind a game-high 19 points from Jimmy Rodgers. Clemson was led in scoring by Hall of Fame player Jim Brennan with 17 points. Nick Milasnovich chipped in 14 points in the loss for the Tigers. The most recent meeting was in Houston, TX as part of the Kettle Classic on Dec. 18, 1981. Iowa, ranked sixth in the country at the time, took down Clemson by a score of 80-68. Clemson got a double-double from Fred Gilliam (14 points, 11 rebounds), but suffered 19 turnovers in the loss.

Clemson will return three starters off a team that posted a 22-12 final record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight season. The Tigers have to replace their top two scorers in departed seniors Demontez StittDemontez Stitt
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and Jerai GrantJerai Grant
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. Clemson led the ACC in scoring defense last season, yielding just 61.4 points per game to the opposition.

Iowa is coming off an 11-20 season, but the Hawkeyes registered victories over Alabama, Indiana (2), Michigan State and Purdue last year. McCaffery’s club will return four starters, including three double-figure scorers led by Matt Gatens (12.6 points per game).

2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Miami (FL) at Purdue

Northwestern at Georgia Tech

Illinois at Maryland

Michigan at Virginia

Clemson at Iowa

Duke at Ohio State

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Indiana at NC State

Penn State at Boston College

Wake Forest at Nebraska

Florida State at Michigan State

Virginia Tech at Minnesota

Wisconsin at North Carolina

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