The sixth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge match-ups have been determined with the event once again featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the nine-game Challenge Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29 through December 1, from nine different college campuses. It will mark the third consecutive year that every game will be televised nationally in a three-day schedule (ESPN Regional Television televised one game each of the first three years).
Since 2000, these two conferences have combined to make 10 Final Four appearances, capturing three of the last five 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.
2004 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (ALL TIMES ET)
Monday, Nov. 29
7:00 p.m. ESPN2 Purdue at N.C. State
Tuesday, Nov. 30
7:00 p.m. ESPN Michigan at Georgia Tech
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Florida State at Minnesota
9:00 p.m. ESPN Michigan State at Duke
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Maryland at Wisconsin
Wednesday, Dec. 1
7:00 p.m. ESPN Wake Forest at Illinois
7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Ohio State at Clemson
9:00 p.m. ESPN North Carolina at Indiana
9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Virginia at Northwestern
Challenge highlights include:
Half the Final Four in Action Against Michigan Teams: Georgia Tech and Duke, participants in last year’s NCAA Final Four, will compete in back-to-back telecasts, hosting 2004 NIT Champion Michigan and Michigan State, respectively (Tuesday, Nov. 30 on ESPN).
Top Programs in Competition: Eight of the top 25 teams in last year’s final ESPN/USA Today rankings will compete in the Challenge - #2 Duke, #3 Georgia Tech, #11 Illinois, #15 Wake Forest, #16 Wisconsin, #20 NC State, #22 North Carolina and #24 Maryland.
Perennial Powers Meet: College basketball tradition-rich programs North Carolina and Indiana will meet in Bloomington, Ind. on ESPN December 1 at 9 p.m. The Hoosiers rank third all-time with five national titles, while the Tar Heels are tied for fourth (with Duke) with three.
Rematches, Rematches: This year’s Challenge will feature two rematches from 2003 with both Big Ten programs looking for redemption for last season’s losses: Michigan State will visit Duke (Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. on ESPN) and Maryland will visit Wisconsin (Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2).
ACC Looks for Six in a Row: By capturing seven of the nine games last year, the ACC won its fifth consecutive Commissioner’s Cup.