ACC and Big Ten Announce Match-ups for Fifth Annual Women's Basketball Challenge
May 19, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference announced Thursday the pairings for the annual Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, which is in its fifth year of what began as a four-year agreement and has been extended until 2012.
The 2011 Challenge will take on a two-day format again this year and is slated to open on Wednesday, Nov. 30, as Georgia Tech and Maryland host Big Ten foes, and Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech travel to perform in front of non-conference crowds.
The Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge previously matched 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving, following the Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge. However, after last year’s Big Ten expansion to include Nebraska, all 12 teams from each conference will participate in the early season Challenge.
The ACC has won all four previous Challenge titles, while in 2010 the ACC narrowly edged the competition, winning six of the 11 ACC/Big Ten Challenge games. The inaugural Challenge in 2007 saw the ACC collect its all-time highest eight victories.
The ACC and the Big Ten conference offices determine the schedule each season, and match-ups may repeat from year-to-year in efforts to coordinate similar opponents and reach competitive equity. In addition, the official title of the Challenge will rotate each year. The 2011 event will be referred to as the Big Ten/ACC 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 four Challenges, Georgia Tech and Maryland 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. This past season, the ACC was represented by eight overall postseason squads, including six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, making it the ninth-straight year the league has had at least six in the Big Dance. Overall, the ACC has made 14 Final Four appearances, including four in the past six years.
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Big Ten sent eight teams to the postseason in 2011. Five teams – Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue – earned bids to the NCAA Championship, while three others – Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin – appeared in the Women’s NIT. Historically, the Big Ten has sent at least one team to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 in 25 of the last 27 years and has had at least one squad participate in five of the last 13 Final Fours, owning eight overall appearances.
Since the 1999-2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 115 occasions with the ACC holding a 64-51 advantage. Last season, the Big Ten boasted a 9-7 record over ACC teams.
Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date. For more information about the Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, including a complete schedule, log on to theACC.com.
2011 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, November 30
Thursday, December 1
2012 CHALLENGE NAME & DATE
ALREADY A CHALLENGE
UNDEFEATED IN CHALLENGERS