Clemson to Face Purdue in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Clemson to Face Purdue in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

June 18, 2003

Clemson will face Purdue on December 3, 2003 in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge on December 3 at Purdue’s Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN. The game will be televised by ESPN-2 and will tip off at 7:30 PM eastern time.

The game is part of the fifth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The ACC has won each of the first four Commissioner’s Cups, including three of the four by 5-4 margins. The ACC won five of the nine last year, including Clemson’s win over Penn State. The Tigers have won three of their previous four games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“This will be a strong challenge for our team,” said Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell, who will be in his first ACC/Big Ten Challenge as Clemson head coach. “It is always difficult to play Purdue at home. Gene Keady once again has the Boilermakers on the up-tick. His teams traditionally are outstanding on defense and very difficult to play. This year won’t be any exception. That said, we look forward to representing the ACC in a positive fashion.”

While Clemson has not played Purdue since the 1973-74 season, Purnell has faced the Boilermakers twice in the last three years. His Dayton team lost to Purdue 62-61 in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament at the McHale Center in Arizona. Two years ago, on December 15, 2001, Purnell’s Flyers defeated Purdue 83-72 in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Clemson has a 2-0 record against Purdue in its history. Both victories were overtime affairs. Clemson won at Clemson in overtime by a 72-66 score during the 1971-72 season. Two years later Clemson took an 81-80 overtime victory at Purdue. Tim Capehart, who had made just 1-6 field goals and 2-4 free throws previously in the game, made two free throws with just seven seconds left to give Clemson the one-point victory. Van Gregg scored 20 points to lead the Tigers, who featured a freshman center named Tree Rollins.

The contest with Purdue is one of four Clemson non-conference games announced so far on the school’s December schedule. Clemson also will play host to Boston College and South Carolina, and will travel to Cincinnati during its pre-ACC slate. Exact dates and times will be announced in August when the ACC releases the conference schedule.

2003 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule

Monday, Dec. 1 7 p.m. ET ESPN2 Northwestern at Florida State

Tuesday, Dec. 2 7:00 p.m. ESPN Indiana at Wake Forest 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 N.C. State at Michigan 9:00 p.m. ESPN Illinois vs. North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.) 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Wisconsin at Maryland

Wednesday, Dec. 3 7:00 p.m. ESPN Georgia Tech at Ohio State 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Clemson at Purdue 9:00 p.m. ESPN Duke at Michigan State 9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Minnesota at Virginia

Challenge highlights include:

ACC Looks for Five in a Row: The ACC will look to win a fifth Commissioner’s Cup. The ACC has edged the Big Ten by winning five of the nine games in three of the first four Challenges, including last year.

Top Programs in Competition: Six of the top 20 teams in last year’s final national rankings will be part of the action – #9 Duke, #10 Maryland, #12 Wake Forest, Wisconsin and Illinois tied at #13 and #18 Michigan. Note: Rankings from the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Recent NCAA Champions in Action: Two perennial powers and recent NCAA Champions will square off when Duke (2001 NCAA Champion) visits Michigan State (2000).

Sour Taste: Ohio State will look for redemption against Georgia Tech, which ended the Buckeyes’ 2003 season with a 72-58 win in the second round of NIT tournament.

A Rivalry Renewed: Maryland, the 2002 National Champions, will face Wisconsin, last year’s Big Ten regular-season champion, for the third time in four years. Maryland defeated Wisconsin in the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament 87-57 and Wisconsin posted a 78-75 overtime victory over the Terrapins in the 2000 Challenge.

New Year, New Face; Neutral Site: The only neutral site game on this year’s schedule (the first four included two neutral site games) will feature North Carolina, led by new coach Roy Williams, against Illinois, led by new coach Bruce Weber. The game is a rematch from last year’s Challenge, a 92-65 Fighting Illini victory.