May 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State will play at Ohio State on Nov. 30 as part of the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, officials from both conferences announced Thursday.
Now in its fifth year of existence, the 2011 Challenge will feature all 12 teams from both conferences now that the Big Ten has expanded to include Nebraska.
The FSU-OSU matchup is one of the marquee pairings for a challenge that also features Michigan at Maryland, North Carolina at Penn State, Purdue at Duke, and Miami at Michigan State among others.
Florida State is coming off a 2010-11 campaign that saw the program extend its school-record NCAA Tournament streak to seven years and counting. Like the Seminoles, Ohio State was a Big Dance participant this past season, advancing to the Sweet 16 before ultimately falling to Tennessee on March 26.
The ’Noles lost starting guards Courtney Ward and Christian Hunnicutt to graduation but return one of the nation’s top forward tandems in All-ACC First Team selection Cierra Bravard and rising sophomore star Natasha Howard.
Bravard and Howard, as well as sophomore Tay’ler Mingo, are all Ohio natives so the late-November showdown in Columbus will be a homecoming for the three key contributors. It will be the team’s first return to the state of Ohio after the magical postseason run in 2010 that took the Seminoles all the way to the Elite Eight.
FSU is 1-0 all time against Ohio State with the lone contest taking place in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. Florida State is 3-1 all time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. This past season, the ACC was represented by eight overall postseason squads, including six teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, making it the ninth–straight year the league has had at least six in the Big Dance. Overall, the ACC has made 14 Final Four appearances, including four in the past six years.
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Big Ten sent eight teams to the postseason in 2011. Five teams – Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue – earned bids to the NCAA Championship, while three others – Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin – appeared in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. Historically, the Big Ten has sent at least one team to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 in 25 of the last 27 years and has had at least one squad participate in five of the last 13 Final Fours, owning eight overall appearances.
Since the 1999–2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head–to–head competition on 115 occasions with the ACC holding a 64–51 advantage. Last season, the Big Ten boasted a 9–7 record over ACC teams.
Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date. For more information about the Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge, including a complete schedule, log on to theACC.com.
2011 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, November 30
Boston College at Wisconsin
Nebraska at Georgia Tech
Michigan at Maryland
Florida State at Ohio State
North Carolina at Penn State
NC State at Northwestern
Virginia Tech at Iowa
Thursday, December 1
Illinois at Clemson
Purdue at Duke
Miami at Michigan State
Indiana at Virginia
Minnesota at Wake Forest
2012 CHALLENGE NAME & DATE
ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Nov. 28, 29
Only two of this year’s Challenge contests will feature a pair of teams that have never faced one another. Wake Forest takes on first–time opponents for the third consecutive year in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, while Maryland faces Michigan for the first time in both programs’ history.
The 2011 Challenge will feature 10 contests in which the two opponents have previously met. Among those all–time series, the ACC holds a 16–9 advantage, including four games between the match–ups that have occurred since 2007.
ALREADY A CHALLENGE
Since the 2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head–to–head competition on 115 occasions with the ACC holding a 64–51 advantage. Last season, the Big Ten boasted a 9–7 record over ACC teams.
UNDEFEATED IN CHALLENGERS
In the previous four Challenges, Georgia Tech and Maryland remain undefeated for the ACC, while Michigan boasts the only unbeaten record among the Big Ten squads.