June 23, 2000 - by

Pairings Set for 2000 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

June 23, 2000


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. Each will take place at a different venue from 1999, including Illinois vs. Duke on ESPN from Greensboro Coliseum (last year, Duke defeated Illinois 72-69 at Chicago’s United Center).

  • The second rematch will feature two Final Four teams when North Carolina plays at National Champion Michigan State on ESPN2, which recently crossed the 70 million household mark faster than any network in cable history. In last year’s Challenge, Michigan State knocked off No. 2-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

  • Two neutral site games will take place, including Maryland vs. Final Four participant Wisconsin from Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. (The other — Illinois vs. Duke from Greensboro).

  • Last year, the ACC captured the Commissioner’s Trophy by winning five of the nine games in the Challenge.



    Tuesday, Nov. 28

    7 p.m.      ESPN   Wake Forest at Michigan
    7:30 p.m.  ESPN2   Northwestern at Clemson
    9 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 Virginia
    7:30 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. State
    TBD         ERT*   Minnesota at Florida State
     

    * – Syndication by ESPN Regional Television. Also offered nationally by ESPN FULL COURT. Date/Time will be determined at a later 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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