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Tech to Visit Northwestern in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

May 12, 2010

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will visit Northwestern on Nov. 30 in the 2011 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, the two conferences and ESPN announced Wednesday. The Wildcats are the only member of the Big Ten whom the Yellow Jackets have never faced in men’s basketball.

Defending National Champion Duke against Final Four participant Michigan State will highlight the field for the 12th annual Challenge, which runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 1 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

This year’s event – featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup — will include 11 teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest from the ACC and Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

Northwestern joins a tough non-conference lineup for Georgia Tech in 2010-11 that includes a home game in the Legends Classic against an undetermined opponent, plus possible games against Syracuse, Michigan and/or UTEP when that event concludes in Atlantic City Nov. 26-27. Tech also will make a return trip to Siena.

Those dates, as well as the entire Tech basketball schedule for 2010-11, will be announced in August.

Tech is coming off its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Paul Hewitt in 2010, finishing with a 23-13 overall record and a 7-9 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Yellow Jackets advanced to the championship game of the ACC Tournament and to the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.

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 lost to Rhode Island in the first round.

The Yellow Jackets are 4-6 in their previous ACC/Big Ten Challenge meetings, including an 85-83 home-court loss to Penn State in their last ACC/Big Ten Challenge game in November of 2008. Tech has played five ACC/Big Ten Challenge games on Big Ten homecourts, including an 83-79 loss at Indiana in 2007, an 88-86 loss at Michigan State in 2005, a 73-53 win at Ohio State in 2003, a 64-63 loss at Minnesota in 2002 and an 85-67 loss at Iowa in 2000.

Tech is 3-1 in its ACC/Big Ten Challenge games at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and dropped the only neutral court meeting, an 80-77 verdict against Michigan in 1999 at Philips Arena. The Jackets are 16-31 all-time against the Big Ten.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU with ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise the remaining nine games. ESPN3.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts.

The ACC has won 10 of the first 11 Challenges with ACC teams winning 67 of the 108 games played. A year ago, the Big Ten won its first Challenge by a 6-to-5 margin. Road teams won six of the 11 games in 2009 and seven of the contests were decided by seven points or less, including four games by four of fewer points.

2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Monday, November 29th
Virginia @ Minnesota

Tuesday, November 30th
North Carolina @ Illinois
Ohio State @ Florida State
Michigan @ Clemson
Georgia Tech @ Northwestern
Iowa @ Wake Forest

Wednesday, December 1st
Michigan State @ Duke
Purdue @ Virginia Tech
North Carolina State @ Wisconsin
Indiana @ Boston College
Maryland @ Penn State

Game times and ESPN platform designations will be determined and announced at a later date.

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