ACC/Big 10 basketball challenge games set, Tech plays Illinois

By: Staff
By: Staff

Wednesday May 8, 2013

Greensboro, N.C. - Georgia Tech will host Illinois on Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, the two conferences and ESPN announced Wednesday. The game will be a rematch of the Illini’s 75-62 victory last November in Champaign.

Illinois becomes part of the strongest home slate in recent Georgia Tech history, which already includes Duke, defending ACC Champion Miami and North Carolina as well as conference newcomers Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The game also enhances a tough non-conference lineup for Tech in Brian Gregory's third season as head coach, a lineup that features a road game at Georgia as well as a trip to the Barclays Classic on Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Mississippi, Penn State and St. John’s.

The Challenge is highlighted by eight teams in an early preseason top 25, including six of the top 11 teams: No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 9 Michigan, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 20 Indiana and No. 25 Iowa. Three of the games will pit ranked teams against each other: No. 9 Michigan at No. 5 Duke, No. 11 North Carolina at No. 3 Michigan State and No. 20 Indiana at No. 8 Syracuse.

Following last year’s 6-6 tie, the ACC now holds a 10-3-1 advantage in Challenge play. In the event of a tie, the Commissioner’s Cup remains with the conference that won the previous year, which was the Big Ten in 2011. The ACC won the first 10 Challenges (1999-2008) while the Big Ten won the next three (2009-2011).

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup. All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN.

All 12 Big Ten teams and 12 of the 15 ACC teams will participate in the 2013 Challenge, including the three newest ACC members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Times and networks for each game will be announced at a later date, as will the rest of the 2013-14 Yellow Jackets' schedule.

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