June 23, 2000
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The pairings have been set for the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a two-day competition matching two of the nation’s top men’s college basketball conferences. The nine-game event, which will be televised by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television, will take place the first Tuesday and Wednesday following Thanksgiving, November 28 and 29, from seven campus sites and two neutral sites. These two conferences were represented by three of last year’s men’s Final Four teams.
On both days, ESPN and ESPN2 will each present doubleheaders, while ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate the ninth game in the markets of the competing teams. ESPN and ESPN Regional Television (ERT) will again manage and market the event.
2000 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Notes:
There will be two rematches from last year’s Challenge. Eachwill take place at a different venue from 1999, including Illinoisvs. Duke on ESPN from Greensboro Coliseum (last year, Duke defeatedIllinois 72-69 at Chicago’s United Center). The second rematch willfeature two Final Four teams when North Carolina plays at NationalChampion Michigan State on ESPN2, which recently crossed the 70million household mark faster than any network in cable history. Inlast year’s Challenge, Michigan State knocked off No. 2-rankedNorth Carolina in Chapel Hill. Two neutral site games will takeplace, including Maryland vs. Final Four participant Wisconsin fromMilwaukee’s Bradley Center. (The other — Illinois vs. Duke fromGreensboro). Last year, the ACC captured the Commissioner’s Trophyby winning five of the nine games in the Challenge.
Tuesday, Nov. 28
7 p.m. ESPN Wake Forest at Michigan7:30 p.m. ESPN2 Northwestern at Clemson9 p.m. ESPN Illinois vs. Duke (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.)9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Georgia Tech at Iowa
Wednesday, Nov. 29
7 p.m. ESPN Purdue at Virginia7:30 p.m. ESPN2 North Carolina at Michigan St.9 p.m. ESPN Maryland vs. Wisconsin (Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisc.)9:30 p.m. ESPN2 Penn State at N.C. StateTBD ERT* Minnesota at Florida State
* – Syndication by ESPN Regional Television. Also offerednationally by ESPN FULL COURT. Date/Time will be determined at alater date.
ESPN’s Dick Vitale offered these thoughts on the ACC/Big Ten Challenge: “The most special thing about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is that it creates marquee matchups early in the season when we usually see blowouts, bargain-basement goodies and cupcake city. It gives both leagues a chance to showcase their talent in different situations. An event like this creates a lot of basketball fever.”
Dick Vitale’s pre-season Top 10 (subject to change pending freshman eligibility, injuries, etc.) for 2000-2001 includes three ACC and two Big Ten teams: 1. Duke, 2. Arizona, 3. North Carolina, 4. Kansas, 5. Stanford, 6. Maryland, 7. Michigan State, 8. Illinois, 9. Seton Hall, 10. Temple.
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