Nov. 28, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s basketball team plays its first game at Philips Arena this season and its first in nearly seven year when it host Northwestern at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will be the second of eight nationally-televised contests this year on ESPNU, and can also be heard on 790 the Zone and True Oldies 106.7 FM.
Tickets in the lower level of Philips Arena are still available for the Northwestern game on Nov. 29 and are priced at $15 per ticket.
Tech (4-2) has not played since last Wednesday, when it defeated Siena, 72-44, at the Arena at Gwinnett. Northwestern (5-0) is coming off a 63-58 victory over Stony Brook on Friday night.
After a 2-0 start under new head coach Brian Gregory, the Yellow Jackets finished sixth in the Charleston Classic, dropping their first-round game to Saint Joseph’s, 66-53, defeating 2011 Final Four team VCU, 73-60, then losing the final-round tilt to LSU, 59-50. The Wildcats, playing on the other side of the bracket, won the Charleston event by defeating LSU (88-82), Tulsa (69-65) and Seton Hall (80-73).
Tech is undefeated at home this year, winning all three of its games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, 92-59 over Florida A&M, 70-52 over Delaware State, and 72-44 over Siena. The Jackets have two more games at Gwinnett following tonight’s game, Dec. 19 vs. Alabama A&M and Dec. 22 vs. Mercer, then play the remainder of their home schedule at Philips Arena, beginning with a Jan. 3 game against Alabama.
This is Tech’s first game at Philips Arena since Dec. 11, 2004, when it defeated Air Force, 64-42, in the final Chick-fil-A Classic for Kids, a long-running holiday double-header featuring the Jackets and Georgia that dated back to the 1980s at the old Omni arena. Tech is 4-3 in Philips Arena, including an 80-77 loss to Michigan in its first-ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge game on Dec. 1, 1999. The facility will host the ACC Tournament in March.
Tech vs. Northwestern
Tech and Northwestern, who had never played each other before last season, are meeting for the second straight year in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Like last year, when the Wildcats defeated the Yellow Jackets, 91-71, at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., Northwestern is undefeated at the time of the game.
Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Georgia Tech holds a 4-7 mark in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and has lost its last three straight in the crossover series after dropping a 91-71 decision at Northwestern in 2010.
Tech has played five “home” games in the series, including the very first in 1999, an 80-77 loss to Michigan at Philips Arena. Four of the games were played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where Tech defeated Wisconsin (2001) and Michigan (2004) and went 1-1 against Penn State (2006, 2008).
The Yellow Jackets have a 1-5 mark in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games on the road. The Yellow Jackets’ only road win in the series occurred in 2003, a 73-53 win at Ohio State the year in which Tech reached the NCAA Championship game. Tech also has visited Minnesota, Michigan State and Indiana.
Seven of Tech’s previous Big Ten/ACC Challenge games have been decided by four points or less. The most lopsided Tech win was a 99-68 homecourt victory over Michigan in 2004, and the most lopsided loss was an 85-67 decision at Iowa in 2000.
Jackets Successful at Gwinnett
Georgia Tech has won its three games at the Arena at Gwinnett Center by an average of 26.3 points. Tech has not allowed more than 59 points in a home game, nor have any of the three foes shot better than 41.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets have connected on 50 percent of their shots from the floor in each of the three games (52.1 pct. collectively, including 35.8 percent from three-point range). Tech has averaged 6.3 threes per game in the building.