THE FLATS – Georgia Tech will travel to Nebraska in the 22nd renewal of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with the game taking place on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. ESPN announced the full lineup of matchups for the Challenge Friday in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
All 14 games, to be played on Dec. 8 and 9, will air on ESPN’s networks and be available via the ESPN app. Game times and networks will be announced at a later date. There are five first-time ACC/Big Ten Challenge contests this year: Clemson-Maryland, Louisville-Wisconsin, Notre Dame-Ohio State, Pitt-Northwestern and Syracuse-Rutgers.
Since its inception, the ACC is 12-6-3 in the Challenge and 133-106 in Challenge games.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge for women’s basketball will not take place this season.
This will be the second consecutive meeting between the Yellow Jackets and the Cornhuskers in the annual Challenge, following Tech’s 73-56 win last December at McCamish Pavilion, and the team’s first meeting in Lincoln. The teams have met on other time previously, a 66-49 Tech win on Dec. 28, 1983 in the Cotton States Classic, which was played in the old Omni arena in downtown Atlanta.
Georgia Tech has an 8-11 mark in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and a 2-8 mark in Challenge games on the road. The Yellow Jackets’ scored a 73-53 win at Ohio State in 2003, the year in which Tech reached the NCAA Championship game, and won at Northwestern in 2014. Tech also has visited Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana and Northwestern (three times).
Maryland and Purdue remain the only Big Ten teams the Yellow Jackets have not faced in the annual series.
Returning four starters from last year’s fifth-place Atlantic Coast Conference team, Georgia Tech began its official preseason practice October 16 in preparation for the 2020-21 season with its most experienced and deepest roster yet under head coach Josh Pastner.
Leading scorer Michael Devoe, a 6-5 junior who averaged 14.6 points and connected on 44.2 percent of his three-point shots in ACC games, and 6-foot senior point guard Jose Alvarado, who led the Jackets in conference play at 16.1 points and 4.3 assists, return to form one of the top guard tandems in the league and the nation. Also back are 6-9 senior forward Moses Wright, one of conference’s most improved players a year ago, averaging 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and 6-7 senior wing Jordan Usher, who started 23 games after becoming eligible at mid-season and averaged 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Tech also returns a pair of veteran reserves in 5-10 senior guard Bubba Parham, who averaged 25.3 minutes and 4.5 points in ACC games, and 6-7 junior forward Khalid Moore (3.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
TECH IN THE ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE
Tech and Northwestern have met five times in the Challenge, its most frequent opponent. The Yellow Jackets dropped the first two, then won the next two before the Wildcats prevailed in 2018. Tech is 1-1 at home, Northwestern 2-1. Tech and Penn State have met three times in the annual event, with the Nittany Lions taking two of the three meetings. Tech has played Illinois (2012 and 2013) and Northwestern (2010 and 2011, 2017 and 2018) in consecutive years.
Tech has played nine “home” games in the series and has a 6-3 record in those contests. 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). Two others were played at Philips Arena, an 80-77 loss to Michigan in the first Challenge game in 1999, and a 76-60 loss to Northwestern in 2011.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.