April 22, 2009 - by
Seminoles Travel To Play At Ohio State In ACC/Big Ten Challenge On Dec. 2

April 22, 2009

The Florida State men’s basketball team, which finished in fourth place in the ACC standings and ranked 16th in the final Associated Press poll of the 2008-09 season, will travel to play at Ohio State on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in the 2009 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It marks the first time the Seminoles and the Buckeyes will play in the 11-year history of the challenge. The Seminoles have a 6-4 record and have helped the ACC win each of the first 10 challenges.

The game times and television designations for all 11 games will be released at a later date.

The 2009 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule
Monday, November 30
Penn State at Virginia

Tuesday, December 1 Maryland at Indiana Michigan State at North Carolina Northwestern at NC State Virginia Tech at Iowa Wake Forest at Purdue

Wednesday, December 2 Boston College at Michigan Duke at Wisconsin Florida State at Ohio State Illinois at Clemson Minnesota at Miami

The Seminoles’ game against the Buckeyes will mark the fourth between the two teams with the last coming in the second round of the 2000 Great Alaska Shootout. The Buckeyes won that game, 90-65, and have a 4-0 record against Florida State in a series that dates back to the 1961-62 season.

The Seminoles are 5-2 under head coach Leonard Hamilton in seven challenge appearances since the 2002-03 season. Hamilton has guided the Seminoles to wins over Iowa (in 2002), Northwestern (in 2003), Minnesota (in 2004 and 2007) and Purdue (in 2005) since his arrival in Tallahassee. Hamilton guided Florida State to four consecutive victories in his first four seasons in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge before the Seminoles fell at Wisconsin during the 2006 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles lost at Northwestern in the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The ACC, which won the challenge by a 6-5 margin in 2008, has won each of the first 10 Commissioner’s Cup in the annual series against the Big Ten. The teams from the ACC have won 62 of the 97 (.639 percent) games played in the first 10 years of the event. For the fifth consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games.

Florida State finished the 2008-09 season with a 25-10 record, was a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, finished in fourth place in the ACC standings with a 10-6 record, and played in the ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history. The Seminoles’ 25 wins tied for second most in school history while their 10 conference wins is the third highest in school history. It marked the first time since the 1992-93 season that the Seminoles had won at least 10 ACC games in a single season. The Seminoles return nine of 12 letter winners and three of five starters including Freshman All-American selections Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton.

Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton was selected as the National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times and as the ACC Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association in 2009. With 20 or more wins in three of the last four seasons, Hamilton, the 21st winningest coach in ACC history and has put the Seminoles on the cusp of becoming the next great program in one of toughest conferences in the nation. Florida State ranks as the fourth winningest program in the ACC in the last three seasons with a cumulative record of 67-38 for a winning percentage of .638. During the last four seasons, Hamilton has elevated the Seminoles’ play in the ACC as he has guided Florida State to a 33-31 record (.516 winning percentage) – tied for the fourth highest win total in ACC play since the start of the 2005-06 season.

Ohio State tied for the No. 4 spot in the Big Ten regular-season race in 2008-09 with an overall record of 22-11 and a league mark of 10-8. The Buckeyes advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament and lost in the opener to Siena (74-72 in 2OT). Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, is in his sixth season in Columbus. He has won 20 or more games in each year as a head coach (nine), including five seasons at Ohio State, three at Xavier and a lone season at his alma mater, Butler. Only Mark Few (10 years) and Matta have won 20 or more games in every year as a collegiate head coach among active NCAA Division I coaches. Matta returns all five starters from the 2008-09 season along with 12 of 13 letterwinners. David Lighty, who was sidelined with a broken foot a year ago, also will be back in action after missing 26 of 33 games a year ago.

Ohio State is participating in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the seventh-consecutive year and has a 2-5 record in the event. The Buckeyes first participated in the Challenge during the 2002-03 season against Duke in Greensboro, N.C., a 91-75 Blue Devils’ victory. Georgia Tech traveled to Ohio State in 2004 and won 73-53. The Buckeyes traveled to Clemson in 2004-05 and fell to the Tigers, 80-73. Ohio State defeated Virginia Tech in Columbus in 2005-06, 69-59, for its first victory in the event. Ohio State traveled to Chapel Hill in 2006-07 where the Tar Heels defeated the Buckeyes, 98-89. UNC brought its No. 1 ranking to Columbus in 2007-08 and won 66-55. Thad Matta’s Buckeyes won at Miami, Fla., in the 2008 Challenge 73-68 for the first road victory in the event for Ohio State.

Dec. 1, 1999         Nov. 29, 2000         Nov. 28, 2001         Dec. 2, 2002
Florida State 60     at Florida State 71   Florida State 50      at Florida State 80
at Northwestern 46   Minnesota 76          at Northwestern 57    Iowa 67

Dec. 1, 2003 Nov. 30, 2004 Nov. 29, 2005 Nov. 28, 2006 at Florida State 71 Florida State 70 at Florida State 97 Florida State 66 Northwestern 53 at Minnesota 69 Purdue 57 at Wisconsin 81

Nov. 27, 2007 Dec. 3, 2008 Dec. 2, 2009 At Florida State 75 Florida State 59 Florida State Minnesota 61 at Northwestern 73 at Ohio State

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