The 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Dec. 3-4 will be highlighted by eight teams in an ESPN.com 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.
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. Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will not play in the 2013 event.
The ACC and Big Ten split last year’s Challenge with six wins each. 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 holds a 10-3-1 Challenge record, winning the first 10 events (1999-2008) while the Big Ten won the next three (2009-2011).
2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):
|Tue, Dec 3||Indiana at Syracuse|
|Michigan at Duke|
|Notre Dame at Iowa|
|Florida State at Minnesota|
|Penn State at Pittsburgh|
|Illinois at Georgia Tech|
|Wed, Dec 4||North Carolina at Michigan State|
|Maryland at Ohio State|
|Miami at Nebraska|
|Wisconsin at Virginia|
|Boston College at Purdue|
|Northwestern at NC State|
- Tourney Teams: 14 teams between the two conferences played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Duke, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the ACC, and Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
- First Challenge Matchups: Seven of the 12 games will mark first-time Challenge matchups: Michigan at Duke, Maryland at Ohio State, Miami at Nebraska and Boston College at Purdue plus the debut of the three new ACC members Syracuse against Indiana, Notre Dame at Iowa and Pittsburgh against Penn State.
- Syracuse and Indiana have met five previous times with Syracuse winning the past four games, including last season’s NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen matchup.
- Duke is 21-8 all-time against Michigan, including victories in the 2011 NCAA Tournament and 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational.
- In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Nebraska holds a 3-1 record against Miami; Purdue won both previous meetings against Boston College; Ohio State and Maryland last played in 1985 with Ohio State winning three out of the five overall games; and Notre Dame will play Iowa for the first time since 1990 and holds a 8-5 series record.
- Pennsylvania rivals Pitt and Penn State will meet for the first time since 2005 with Pitt winning the past five contests.
- Shot at the Bakers Dozen: Duke has won more than any team, taking 12 of its 14 Challenge games.
- Following a First with a Rematch: Illinois and Georgia Tech and Wisconsin and Virginia will follow their first-time Challenge meetings in 2012 with a rematch in the 2013 event.
- Illinois defeated Georgia Tech and Virginia beat Wisconsin in last year’s Challenge.
- Best Three Out of Five: North Carolina and Michigan State and Minnesota and Florida State will meet in the Challenge for the fifth time with each program holding a 2-2 record against their opponent.
- North Carolina, with an 11-3 overall record against Michigan State, won games in 2008 and 2009. Michigan State won the games in 1999 and 2000.
- Minnesota won the Challenge games in 2000 and 2012 and Florida State in 2004 and 2007.
- Rubber Match: Northwestern and NC State will square off in the Challenge for the third time. Northwestern won in 2009 and NC State in 2002.