May 17, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will host Northwestern on Nov. 29 at Philips Arena in the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, the two conferences and ESPN announced Tuesday. The game will be a rematch of the Yellow Jackets’ loss last November in Evanston, Ill.
The 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 29-30 will be highlighted by Duke at Ohio State and Wisconsin at North Carolina — four traditional power programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2011-12 season – and an expanded format with new Big Ten member Nebraska. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges.
Northwestern joins a tough non-conference lineup for Georgia Tech in 2011-12 that includes a home game against SEC Western Division champion Alabama, a visit to state-rival Georgia, and a trip to the fourth annual Charleston Classic the weekend of Nov. 17-20, which includes Baylor, LSU, Saint Joseph’s, Seton Hall, Tulsa, Virginia Commonwealth and Western Kentucky.
Those dates, as well as the entire Tech basketball schedule for 2011-12, will be announced in August. Tech, 13-18 last season, 5-11 in the ACC, looks ahead to its first season under head coach Brian Gregory, who joined the Yellow Jackets’ program in March after eight seasons as the head man at Dayton.
Northwestern went 20-14 overall last season, posting a 7-11 record and finishing seventh in the Big Ten regular season. The Wildcats received a bid to the NIT and advanced to the quarterfinals.
The Yellow Jackets are 4-7 in their previous Big Ten/ACC Challenge meetings, including a 91-71 loss to the Wildcats last year at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the team’s first-ever meeting in basketball.
The Nov. 29 game will be Tech’s second Big Ten/ACC Challenge game to be played at Philips Arena. The Jackets dropped an 80-77 verdict against Michigan in 1999, the inaugural year of the Challenge. The Jackets are 16-32 all-time against the Big Ten.
Tech is 3-2 in its Big Ten/ACC Challenge games played in the city of Atlanta, including a 3-1 mark in games played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, which is being replaced by a new on-campus facility, the McCamish Pavilion, to open for the 2012-13 season. Tech has played six Challenge games on Big Ten homecourts, winning one.
The 2011 Challenge involves six teams ranked in an early preseason top 25 by ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, 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.
This year’s event – top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup — 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.
Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles: North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001 and 2010) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances.
2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule
(times and networks are to be determined):
Tuesday, November 29
Miami at Purdue
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Illinois at Maryland
Michigan at Virginia
Clemson at Iowa
Duke at Ohio State
Wednesday, November 30
Indiana at NC State
Penn State at Boston College
Florida State at Michigan State
Virginia Tech at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Nebraska
Wisconsin at North Carolina