ACC and Big Ten Announce Matchups for Second Annual Women's Basketball Challenge
May 1, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference announced on Thursday the pairings for the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge for women's basketball, which is in its second year of a four-year agreement.
The 2008 challenge will open on Wednesday, Dec. 3, as Georgia Tech hosts Michigan State, Ohio State welcomes North Carolina and Florida State takes on Penn State. Thursday, Dec. 4, will feature six games as Clemson hosts Northwestern, Purdue takes on Maryland, Illinois welcomes Virginia, Minnesota plays host to Boston College, Duke welcomes Iowa and Wisconsin faces Virginia Tech. The challenge wraps up on Friday, Dec. 5, as Michigan hosts NC State and Miami welcomes Indiana.
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 offices determine the 11-game schedule each season, and matchups may repeat from year-to-year in efforts to coordinate similar opponents. Each of the Big Ten's 11 institutions will participate, while the ACC will select its top 11 teams from the previous season from its 12-team membership.
In addition, the official title of the Challenge will rotate each year. The 2008 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 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. Stay tuned to theacc.com for more information about the ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge, including a complete schedule.
2008 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Thursday, December 4
Friday, December 5
FUTURE CHALLENGE NAMES & DATES
ALREADY A CHALLENGE
2007 CHALLENGE RESULTS (ACC 8, BIG TEN 3)