Big 10/ACC Challenge Announced! Illinois vs. Maryland, Northwestern-Georgia Tech

maryland terrapins

Matchups for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge have been determined. Illinois will travel to College Park, Md., to face Maryland on Nov. 29 in college basketball's best pre-conference event

Illinois and Maryland will meet for the fourth time in the Big
Ten/ACC Challenge - and the third time at College Park - with the Illini
looking for their first Challenge win against the Terrapins. This will
mark the ninth overall meeting between the programs, with Maryland
holding a 5-3 edge in the all-time series.

You might remember Illinois and Maryland
meeting last season in New York City, with the Illini claiming an 80-76
victory in the third-place game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting
Coaches vs. Cancer.

Illinois owns a 5-7 all-time record in the Challenge, including two
straight wins: at Clemson in 2009 and over North Carolina last year at
the Assembly Hall.

The event will be headlined by the Duke Blue Devils at the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers at the North Carolina.This year has an expanded format to include newest Big Ten member Nebraska.
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and will combine to televise all 12 games
of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges.

The 2011 Challenge involves six teams
ranked in an early preseason top 25, including three in the top five:
No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin,
No. 21 Florida State and No. 23 Michigan Wolverines.

This year's event will include 11 teams that played in the 2011 NCAA
Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State and North Carolina from the
ACC, and Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

the ACC has won 72 of the 119 games played in Challenge history with
Duke leading the way with an 11-1 record. Boston College (6-0) is the
only team with a higher winning percentage than the Blue Devils.

Duke, playing its third true road game in the last four years in the
Challenge, is 3-1 all-time in Big Ten/ACC Challenge road games. The Blue
Devils are 1-0 against Ohio State with a 91-76 win over the Buckeyes
on Dec. 3, 2002 at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19
Final Four appearances and six national titles: Duke (2001 & 2010),
North Carolina (2009 & 2005), Maryland (2002) and Michigan State
(2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories (355), NCAA
Tournament winning percentage (.665), and Final Four appearances (44)
while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances (203).

The Big Ten won the Commissioner's Cup for the second consecutive
year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges. In the event of a 6-6
tie this year, the Commissioner's Cup will remain with the conference
that won the previous year.

· Georgia Tech and Northwestern will follow the first meeting between
the programs (Northwestern, 91-71) with a second consecutive Challenge

· Nine of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups:
No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina, No. 21 Florida State at
Michigan State Spartans, No. 23 Michigan at Virginia, Miami at Purdue Boilermakers,
Clemson at Iowa, Indiana at North Carolina State, Penn State at Boston
College, Virginia Tech at Minnesota and Wake Forest at Nebraska.

· The Illinois Fighting Illini and Maryland will meet for the fourth time in the Challenge.

2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):



Tue, Nov 29

Miami at Purdue

Northwestern at Georgia Tech

Illinois at Maryland

No. 23 Michigan at Virginia

Clemson at Iowa

No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State

Wed, Nov 30

Indiana at North Carolina State

Penn State on Boston College

No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State

Virginia Tech at Minnesota

Wake Forest at Nebraska

No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina

Northwestern will travel to Georgia Tech Tuesday, Nov. 29.

It is the second straight year that the Wildcats
and the Yellow Jackets are squaring off in the Challenge. Northwestern
cruised to a 91-71 victory in the first-ever meeting between the teams
Nov. 30 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

The game will serve as a homecoming for guard JerShon Cobb, a native of nearby Decatur, Ga.

Northwestern is slated to return four starters and nine letterwinners
from last year's squad which went 20-14, including 7-11 in Big Ten
play. The Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinal round of the National
Invitation Tournament, the teams third consecutive postseason

Georgia Tech posted a 13-18 overall record and a 5-11 mark in ACC
play during the 2010-11 campaign. The Yellow Jackets are set to begin
their first season under new head coach Brian Gregory who served as an
assistant coach at Northwestern during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

Northwestern is 5-7 in its first 12 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups,
including wins each of the last three years. Prior to the 2010-11
season, the only Big Ten team to win Challenge games in three
consecutive years was Penn State. Ohio State and Wisconsin joined NU this year in adding to that list.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He's also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

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