May 25, 2010
GREENSBORO, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the pairings for the fourth annual ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge. The Tigers, who hold a 2-1 mark in the previous three Challenges, will take on Indiana in Clemson on December 2.
Last season, Clemson used a three-pointer from Kirstyn Wright with 2.6 seconds remaining to defeat the Northwestern Wildcats, 69-68, in Evanston, IL. Wright had a career-high 22 points, hitting six of her eight three-point attempts, a Clemson record for three-point percentage.
Clemson and Indiana have met only once in history, a 77-58 Tiger victory in 1979.
The Tigers will have a new look in 2010-11, as new Head Coach Itoro Coleman takes over as the program’s fifth leader. The Tigers also graduated four players off of the 2009-10 team, including two-time All-ACC selection Lele Hardy and former All-Freshman selection Christy Brown.
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.
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. 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 2 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
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