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Six Days of Inter-League Play Begins December 1
ESPN has finalized the time and network designations for the 16th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods and second-annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic early-season men’s basketball showdowns. ESPN networks will combine to cover every game of the events showcasing the premier conferences during the first week of December. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise the 14 games of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge – including all 14 Big Ten schools and 14 of 15 ACC teams – from Monday, Dec. 1 through Wednesday, Dec. 3, while ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and the SEC Network will present the 10 games of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge showcasing 10 of 14 SEC schools and all ten Big 12 programs from Wednesday, Dec. 3 to Saturday, Dec. 6.
The ACC and Big Ten have split the past two events, winning six Challenge games each in 2012 and 2013. In the event of a tie, the Commissioner’s Cup remains with the conference that won the previous year, which was the Big Ten in 2011. The ACC won the first 10 Challenges (1999-2008), while the Big Ten won the next three (2009-2011).
The inaugural SEC/Big 12 Challenge in 2013, which took place in November and December, saw the Big 12 winning seven of the 10 games.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
- Nine teams in theESPN.com men’s preseason top 25 poll: No. 2 Duke, No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 6 North Carolina, No. 7 Virginia, No. 8 Louisville, No. 18 Michigan, No. 21 Syracuse, No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Iowa.
- The potential of three top-25 matchups:
- No. 21 Syracuse travels to No. 24 Michigan on Tuesday, for a 7:30 p.m. tilt on ESPN.
- No. 25 Iowa at No. 6 North Carolina on Wednesday, also at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
- A Challenge culmination of No. 2 Duke at No. 4 Wisconsin on Wednesday, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.
- No. 8 Louisville – in its first year as an ACC member – hosts Ohio State on Tuesday, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.
- Also competing in the Challenge, No. 7 Virginia plays at former ACC opponent Maryland at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN2.
- Wednesday night also features No. 18 Michigan State at Notre Dame at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN2.
- The Challenge schedule includes 10 of the top 25 teams in ESPN’s RecruitingNation Class Rankings: No. 1 Duke, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Louisville, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 9 Maryland, No. 18 NC State, No. 19 Virginia Tech, No. 21 Indiana, No. 23 Syracuse and No. 25 Purdue.
- Nine ACC and eight Big Ten teams participated in the 2014 postseason:
- The ACC had seven teams – Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt, Syracuse and Virginia – earn NCAA Championship berths, while Clemson and Florida State advanced to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinals.
- The Big Ten saw Wisconsin advance to the Final Four, in addition to Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State earning NCAA berths.
- Minnesota captured the 2014 NIT title and Illinois was a second-round participant.
Previous notes on the ACC/Big Ten Challenge participants.
2014 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Schedule (subject to change)
|Mon, Dec 1||7 p.m.||Nebraska at Florida State||ESPN2|
|Rutgers at Clemson||ESPNU|
|Tue, Dec 2||7 p.m.||Pittsburgh at Indiana||ESPN2|
|Minnesota at Wake Forest||ESPNU|
|7:30 p.m.||No. 21 Syracuse at No. 24 Michigan||ESPN|
|9 p.m.||Illinois at Miami||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|NC State at Purdue||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|9:30 p.m.||Ohio State at No. 8 Louisville||ESPN|
|Wed, Dec 3||7:15 p.m.||No. 18 Michigan State at Notre Dame||ESPN2|
|Virginia Tech at Penn State||ESPNU|
|7:30 p.m.||No. 25 Iowa at No. 6 North Carolina||ESPN|
|9:15 p.m.||No. 7 Virginia at Maryland||ESPN2|
|Georgia Tech at Northwestern||ESPNU|
|9:30 p.m.||No. 2 Duke at No. 4 Wisconsin||ESPN|
SEC/Big 12 Challenge
- Seven teams in the ESPN.com men’s preseason top 25 poll: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 9 Florida, No. 10 Kansas, No. 16 Iowa State, No. 17 Texas, No. 19 Oklahoma and No. 23 Kansas State.
- Two potential top-25 matchups on Friday on ESPN: No. 17 Texas at No. 1 Kentucky at 7 p.m. and No. 9 Florida at No. 10 Kansas immediately following.
- No. 16 Iowa State hosts Arkansas on Thursday, at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.
- No. 19 Oklahoma hosts former Big 12 foe Missouri on Friday, at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
- No. 23 Kansas State travels to Tennessee in the final game of the Challenge on Saturday, at 3:15 p.m. on ESPN2.
- The Challenge schedule includes four of the top 20 teams in ESPN’s RecruitingNation Class Rankings: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 5 Kansas, No. 13 Florida and No. 20 Texas.
- Seven SEC and eight Big 12 teams earned berths to the 2014 postseason:
- The SEC sent national runner-up Kentucky, Final Four participant Florida and Tennessee to the NCAA Championship.
- Four SEC teams advanced to the second round of the NIT, including Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Missouri.
- The Big 12 saw Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas advance in the NCAA Championship.
- West Virginia played in the first round of the NIT.
Previous notes on the SEC/Big 12 Challenge participants.
2014 SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic Schedule (subject to change)
|Wed, Dec 3||9 p.m.||Auburn at Texas Tech||ESPN3 / SEC Network|
|Thu, Dec 4||7 p.m.||LSU at West Virginia||ESPN2|
|7 p.m.||Baylor at Vanderbilt||ESPNU|
|9 p.m.||Arkansas at No. 16 Iowa State||ESPN2|
|9 p.m.||TCU at Ole Miss||ESPNU|
|Fri, Dec 5||7 p.m.||No. 17 Texas at No. 1 Kentucky||ESPN|
|9 p.m.||No. 9 Florida at No. 10 Kansas||ESPN|
|9:30 p.m.||Missouri at No. 19 Oklahoma||ESPNU|
|Sat, Dec 6||Noon||Oklahoma State at South Carolina||ESPNU|
|3:15 p.m.||No. 23 Kansas State at Tennessee||ESPN2|