July 2, 2002
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will travel to Minneapolis to visit Minnesota on Dec. 4 as part of the fourth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge basketball games, which will be televised by ESPN and ESPN 2.
Tech, coming off a 15-16 campaign in 2001-02, looks to even its ACC/Big Ten ledger with the game against the Gophers at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets rallied from a a 20-point second-half deficit to defeat Wisconsin, 62-61, at home last season for their first win in the competition. That following losses to Iowa and Michigan the previous two years.
The game will be only the third meeting between the two teams, and the first since Georgia Tech defeated Minnesota, 93-91, in the NCAA South Regional final in New Orleans. The Gophers won the first meeting, 57-56, in the 1978 Pillsbury Classic.
The trip to Minnesota is one of several major non-conference games the Yellow Jackets will play this year, including games against Syracuse, Tennessee, Tulane and Marist on the road, as well as a home game against Georgia. The entire Tech schedule will be announced in August.
The fourth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge match-ups have been determined with the event once again featuring several top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the nine-game Challenge Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, December 2-4, from seven different college campuses and two neutral sites.
It will mark the first time in the four-year history of the Challenge every game will be televised nationally, resulting in a new three-day schedule (ESPN Regional Television televised one game each of the first three years). ESPN and ESPN2 will each present a doubleheader on Tuesday and Wednesday.
2002 ACC/Big Ten ScheduleAll times Eastern
Monday, Dec. 2 9 p.m. ET Iowa at Florida State (ESPN2)
Wednesday, Dec. 4 7 p.m. Georgia Tech at Minnesota (ESPN) 7:30 p.m. Northwestern at N.C. State (ESPN2) 9 p.m. Virginia at Michigan State (ESPN) 9:30 p.m. Wake Forest at Wisconsin (ESPN2)
Tuesday, Dec. 3 7 p.m. Ohio State vs. Duke/Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C. (ESPN) 7:30 p.m. Penn State at Clemson (ESPN2) 9 p.m. Maryland vs. Indiana/Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind. (ESPN) 9:30 p.m. North Carolina at Illinois (ESPN2)
Challenge highlights include:
Rematch of the NCAA National Championship Game: This year’s Challenge will feature a rematch of last year’s NCAA National Championship game when defending Champion Maryland plays Indiana at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, one of two neutral site games in the Challenge.
Conference Champions Meet: Defending Conference Tournament Champions will meet when Big Ten champion Ohio State faces ACC champion Duke from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., the other neutral site game in the Challenge. The two teams will meet for the fifth time in school history and the first time since a 1978 overtime victory by Ohio State.
Attempts for a Second Win After a Successful Debut: Indiana and Ohio State will each attempt to follow last year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge debut victory with another this year. In last year’s Challenge, Indiana defeated North Carolina and Ohio State defeated N.C. State.
Top Programs in Competition: Once again, this year’s Challenge will feature several of the top programs in the country, including the past three NCAA Champions: Maryland (2002), Duke (2001) and Michigan State (2000) — who will take on perennial ACC power Virginia.
ACC Looks for Four in a Row: The ACC has won the Commissioners Cup all three years of the Challenge. Last year, the ACC took won five of the eight games.
John Wildhack, ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming, on the Challenge: “The ACC/Big Ten Challenge has featured memorable match-ups involving some of the most tradition-laden programs in all of college basketball. The Challenge has become an important event to not only Big Ten and ACC fans, but to all college basketball fans. Over three days, we look forward to tremendous competition amidst a great atmosphere.”
Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner, on the Challenge: “As we enter the fourth year of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, we look forward to another great series of games between two of the country’s top basketball conferences. As always, the event provides an outstanding opportunity for the players and coaches to evaluate their progress early in the season and for the first time, gives the fans a chance to watch all nine games on national television. We had high expectations for the Challenge when it was initiated three years ago, and we have every reason to believe that the 2002 event will be another success.”
John Swofford, ACC Commissioner, on the Challenge: “Once again, the Atlantic Coast Conference is delighted to be partnered with ESPN and the Big Ten Conference in this, the fourth season of the ACC-Big Ten Basketball Challenge. The Challenge quickly has become a much-anticipated event for our fans, friends and alumni, as well as for college basketball in general. It allows our schools to compete against outstanding teams from the Big Ten, providing quality early-season match-ups for our coaches and players. Through its first three years of existence, the Challenge’s format, combined with the high level of competition and the intensity of play, has resulted in an unbeatable mixture of on-court drama and excellent college basketball.”