Aug 15, 2013
Bristol, Conn. – Georgia Tech will help open the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods when it hosts Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at McCamish Pavilion. The game will tip at 7:15 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2.
ESPN has finalized the network and time assignments for Challenge on December 3 and 4. 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.
Every game will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Illinois is part of the strongest slate in recent Georgia Tech history, which already includes Duke, defending ACC Champion Miami and North Carolina as well as conference newcomers Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The game also headlines a tough non-conference lineup for Tech in Brian Gregory’s third season as head coach, featuring a home game against Gregory’s former team, Dayton, road games at Georgia, Vanderbilt and Charlotte, and a trip to the Barclays Classic on Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Mississippi, Penn State and St. John’s.
Illinois, which was undefeated and ranked 22nd when the teams met last Nov. 28 in Champaign, finished the season 23-13 overall and tied for seventh place in the Big Ten at 8-10. The Illini advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Miami. Tech went on to finish 16-15 overall and 6-12 in the ACC.
Tech is 1-7 all-time against the Illini, the lone win coming in the semifinals of the 1985 NCAA East Regional in Providence, R.I. (61-53). The teams have met once in Atlanta previously, a 59-57 Illinois victory over fourth-ranked Tech on March 1, 1986 at the Omni.
Gregory, a native of Mount Prospect, Ill., has a win over Illinois to his credit while head coach at Dayton, a 77-71 win in Champaign in the 2010 Post-Season NIT, and is 1-1 against the Illini as a head coach.
The Yellow Jackets are 4-9 in their previous Big Ten/ACC Challenge meetings and are 4-3 in Challenge games played in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight games in the annual series and last won on Nov. 28, 2006, a 77-73 home victory over Penn State.
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).
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.
2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule:
Tuesday, December 3
7:15 p.m. Indiana at Syracuse ESPN
7:15 p.m. Illinois at Georgia Tech ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Penn State at Pittsburgh ESPNU
9:15 p.m. Michigan at Duke ESPN
9:15 p.m. Notre Dame at Iowa ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Florida State at Minnesota ESPNU
Wednesday, December 4
7:00 p.m. Maryland at Ohio State ESPN or ESPN2
7:00 p.m. Wisconsin at Virginia ESPN or ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Northwestern at NC State ESPNU
9:00 p.m. North Carolina at Michigan State ESPN
9:00 p.m. Boston College at Purdue ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Miami at Nebraska ESPNU
About Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships, played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004).