The annual ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge is in its fourth year of what began as a four-year agreement and has been extended until 2012.
The 2010 Challenge will take on a two-day format again this year.
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 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.
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 Big Ten squads.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. Last 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, also 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 1999-00 season, the ACC & the Big Ten have squared off in head-to-head competition on 101 occasions with the ACC holding a 58-43 edge. Last season, the ACC boasted a 9-5 record over Big Ten teams, including seven wins in the Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, giving the ACC it’s 3rd-straight Challenge title.