May 1, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Clemson women’s basketball team will play host to Northwestern in the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as released by the ACC and Big Ten conference offices on Thursday afternoon. Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date.
The Lady Tigers and Wildcats have met just once in history with Northwestern edging Clemson, 70-68, in the 1997 Preseason NIT. In the inaugural year of the Challenge, the Tigers fell at Michigan State.
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 time frame.
The Big Ten and ACC offices determine the 11-game schedule each season, and match-ups 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.
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.
2008 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE Wednesday, December 3 Michigan State at Georgia Tech North Carolina at Ohio State Penn State at Florida State
Thursday, December 4 Northwestern at Clemson Maryland at Purdue Virginia at Illinois Boston College at Minnesota Iowa at Duke Virginia Tech at Wisconsin
Friday, December 5 NC State at Michigan Indiana at Miami
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