Tech to Visit Michigan State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

June 29, 2005

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech, coming off its second consecutive NCAA Tournament trip and a runner-up finish in the ACC Tournament, will visit Michigan State on Nov. 30 in the seventh-annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge basketball event.

The game will be nationally televised by ESPN and tip off at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Tech and Michigan State will be meeting for the first time since the Yellow Jackets’ 81-80 overtime victory over the Spartans in the 1990 NCAA Southeast Regional semifinals. Tech has won two of three prior meetings with Michigan State.

The Yellow Jackets are 3-3 in their previous ACC-Big Ten Challenge meetings, including a 99-68 homecourt win over Michigan last year. The Michigan State game will be Tech’s fourth road game in the seven-year history of the event. Tech has also played at Ohio State (a 73-53 win in 2003), Iowa (lost 85-67 in 2000) and Minnesota (lost 64-63 in 2002).

Tech finished last season with a 20-12 record, tying for fourth in the ACC regular season at 8-8. The Yellow Jackets made the ACC Tournament championship game, where they lost to Duke, and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans advanced to the NCAA Final Four where they lost to North Carolina, finishing the season 26-7 (13-3 in the Big Ten).

The entire Tech basketball schedule for 2005-06 will be announced in August.

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge – increasing to 11 games from nine in the six previous years — will include two telecasts on ESPNU, the new 24-hour college sports network. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the other nine games, marking the fourth consecutive year every game will be televised nationally. The seventh annual event between the two conferences playing for the Commissioner’s Cup will feature 11 games from 11 different college campuses, November 28-30.

Since 2000, these two conferences have combined to make 13 Final Four appearances and captured four of the last six NCAA Championships. In addition, the ACC and Big Ten rank either first or second in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, victories and Final Four appearances. This year’s schedule will be highlighted by a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament championship pitting Illinois at North Carolina Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

2005 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (ALL TIMES ET)

Monday, Nov. 28
Virginia Tech at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Nov. 29
Wisconsin at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Purdue at Florida State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Clemson at Penn State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Illinois at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Miami at Michigan, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday, Nov. 30
Georgia Tech at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Minnesota at Maryland, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Northwestern at Virginia, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
Duke at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
N.C. State at Iowa, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

2005 Challenge highlights:

ESPNU Televises Two Additional Games: The launch of ESPNU will provide fans with coverage of two additional Challenge games, both at 8 p.m.: Clemson at Penn State Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Northwestern at Virginia Wednesday, Nov. 30. The ESPNU games will also be syndicated in the local markets of the competing teams and offered on ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN’s college basketball pay-per-view package.

Three Final Four Teams in Action: North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan State — three of last year’s Final Four teams — will be in action. In addition to the rematch of last year’s championship game between Illinois and North Carolina (Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. on ESPN), Michigan State will host Georgia Tech, a 2004 championship game participant (Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. on ESPN).

Top Programs in Competition: Five of the top 10 teams in last year’s final ESPN/USA Today rankings and seven of the top 25 will compete in the Challenge — #1 North Carolina, #2 Illinois, #4 Michigan State, #7 Duke, #10 Wisconsin, #11 Wake Forest and #22 N.C. State.

New Teams to the Challenge: This year’s Challenge will include two new teams with the addition of Miami and Virginia Tech from the ACC. Virginia Tech will tip off the 11-game event at Ohio State Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Miami will visit Michigan Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 will televise both games.

Commissioner’s Cup: Following last year’s 7-2 Challenge win, the ACC has won the Commissioner’s Cup all six years.

Year by Year:
1999: ACC 5-4
2000: ACC 5-4
2001: ACC 5-3
2002: ACC 5-4
2003: ACC 7-2
2004: ACC 7-2

The 2005 Challenge will mark the first year of a six-year agreement (through 2010) between ESPN, the ACC and the Big Ten to continue the annual men’s college basketball inter-conference Challenge.

ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage of the 2004 ACC/Big Ten Challenge experienced significant audience growth over the 2003 event. ESPN’s four telecasts in 2004 averaged a 1.6 rating and 1,423,000 households for increases of 33% (vs. 1.2) and 30% (vs. 1,094,000) over the four games in 2003. ESPN2’s five matchups averaged a 0.6 rating and 495,000 households for increases of 50% (vs. 0.4) and 35% (vs. 365,000) over 2003’s five telecasts.

In addition, 2004’s coverage included ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge telecast ever: North Carolina at Indiana with a 2.0 average rating and 1,749,000 households.

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