May 1, 2008
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech will host Michigan State on December 3 in the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge for women’s basketball, the two conferences announced Thursday.
This will mark the first meeting between the Yellow Jackets and the Spartans. Tech is 5-3 all-time against Big Ten opponents after defeating first-time foe Iowa, 75-57, last season in the inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Tech is coming off one of its best seasons in school history. The Jackets finished 22-10 and earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season. Tech’s 22 wins is its most since joining the ACC before the 1979-80 season. The season’s win total also marked the first time Tech had won at least 20 games in back-to-back seasons.
The ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge matches 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after Thanksgiving, following the men’s basketball ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Last year, the ACC won eight of the 11 inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge games, which were spread outside the traditional timeframe.
The Big Ten and ACC have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. This past season, the ACC was represented by six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, making it the sixth straight year the league has had at least six in the Big Dance. Maryland and North Carolina advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals, giving the ACC at least one team in the Elite Eight for the seventh consecutive year. In 2005-06, the ACC became the first conference to send three teams – Duke, Maryland and North Carolina – to the same Final Four. Overall, the ACC has made 11 Final Four trips, including six in the past 12 years.
The Big Ten sent a conference-record nine teams to the 2008 postseason, including four squads to the NCAA Championship. In addition, Michigan State was one of five conference teams to participate in the postseason WNIT and became the second Big Ten team in as many years to advance to the event’s final game. The conference has sent at least one team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship in 23 of the last 24 years and has had at least one squad participate in five of the last 10 Final Fours, owning eight overall appearances.
Since the 1999-2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 68 occasions with the ACC holding a 37-31 advantage.
Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date.
SCHEDULE Wednesday, December 3
Michigan State at Georgia Tech
North Carolina at Ohio State
Penn State at Florida State
Thursday, December 4
Northwestern at Clemson
Maryland at Purdue
Virginia at Illinois
Boston College at Minnesota
Iowa at Duke
Virginia Tech at Wisconsin
Friday, December 5
NC State at Michigan
Indiana at Miami
– RamblinWreck.com –