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Yellow Jackets Draw Northwestern in Fourth Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge

May 24, 2010

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball team will host Northwestern in the fourth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten Conference announced Monday.

The Yellow Jackets and Wildcats will meet for the fourth time on Dec. 1, 2010 at the Henry F. McCamish, Jr., Basketball Complex/Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Tech holds a 2-1 advantage in the series, including a 55-46 victory in the two programs last meeting in Atlanta on Nov. 21, 2007.

“Northwestern returns a very good team with a lot of experience,” head coach MaChelle Joseph said. “It will be an interesting match-up. I look forward to the challenge of playing one of the best teams the Big Ten has to offer in 2010-2011.”

The Jackets are just one of four ACC teams with a perfect record over the first three challenges. Tech has previously recorded wins over Iowa, Michigan State and Penn State.

The ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge matches 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving, following the ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge. Last year, the ACC won seven of the 11 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games. In 2008, the ACC also won seven contests, while the inaugural Challenge in 2007 saw the ACC collect eight victories.

The ACC and the Big Ten conference offices determine the 11-game schedule each season, and match-ups may repeat from year-to-year in efforts to coordinate similar opponents and reach competitive equity. Each of the Big Ten’s 11 institutions will participate, while the ACC will select 11 teams from its 12-team membership. In addition, the official title of the Challenge will rotate each year. The 2010 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the two conferences’ challenge agreement for men’s basketball.

The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. This past season, the ACC was represented by nine overall postseason squads, including six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, making it the eighth straight year the league has had at least six in the Big Dance. Duke and Florida State advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals, giving the ACC at least one team in the Elite Eight for the ninth consecutive year. Overall, the ACC has made 14 Final Four appearances, including four in the past five years.

The Big Ten tied a conference record in 2010, sending nine teams into postseason play. Four Big Ten teams – Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin – earned bids to the NCAA Championship, while five – Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue – participated in the postseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). Historically, the conference has sent at least one team to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 in 24 of the last 26 years and has had at least one squad participate in five of the last 12 Final Fours, owning eight overall appearances.

Since the 1999-2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 99 occasions with the ACC holding a 57-42 advantage. Last season, the ACC boasted a 9-5 record over Big Ten teams, including a 76-59 Miami victory over Michigan to advance the Hurricanes to the championship round of the WNIT.

Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date. For more information about the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, including a complete schedule, log on to theACC.com. ­

2010 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, December 1

Wake Forest at Michigan
Michigan State at Florida State
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
NC State at Illinois

Thursday, December
Duke at Wisconsin
Iowa at North Carolina
Penn State at Boston College
Virginia at Ohio State
Maryland at Purdue
Indiana at Clemson
Virginia Tech at Minnesota

FUTURE CHALLENGE NAMES & DATES
2011: Big Ten/ACC Challenge – Nov. 30, Dec. 1
2012: ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Nov. 28, 29

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Only one of this year’s Challenge contests will feature a pair of teams that have never faced one another. Wake Forest takes on first-time opponents for the second consecutive year in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

ALREADY A CHALLENGE
Since the 2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 99 occasions with the ACC holding a 57-42 advantage. Last season, the ACC boasted a 9-5 record over Big Ten teams, including a 76-59 Miami victory over Michigan to advance the Hurricanes to the championship round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

COMMON CHALLENGERS
The 2010 Challenge will feature 10 contests in which the two opponents have previously met. Among those all-time series, the Big Ten holds a 12-9 advantage, while only two games between the match-ups have occurred since 2003.

UNDEFEATED IN CHALLENGERS
In the previous three Challenges, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia remain undefeated for the ACC, while Michigan boasts the only unbeaten record among the Big Ten squads.

-RamblinWreck.com-

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