Tech to host Illinois in 15th Big Ten/ACC Challenge

4:39 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. -- Georgia Tech will host Illinois on Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods, the two conferences and ESPN announced Wednesday. The game will be a rematch of the Illini's 75-62 victory last November in Champaign.

Illinois becomes part of the strongest home slate in recent Georgia Tech history, which already includes Duke, defending ACC Champion Miami and North Carolina as well as conference newcomers Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The game also enhances a tough non-conference lineup for Tech in Brian Gregory's third season as head coach, a lineup that features a road game at Georgia as well as a trip to the Barclays Classic on Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Mississippi, Penn State and St. John's.

The Challenge is highlighted by eight teams in an ESPN.com early preseason top 25, including six of the top 11 teams: No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 9 Michigan, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 20 Indiana and No. 25 Iowa. Three of the games will pit ranked teams against each other: No. 9 Michigan at No. 5 Duke, No. 11 North Carolina at No. 3 Michigan State and No. 20 Indiana at No. 8 Syracuse.

Following last year's 6-6 tie, the ACC now holds a 10-3-1 advantage in Challenge play. 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).

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup. All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN.

All 12 Big Ten teams and 12 of the 15 ACC teams will participate in the 2013 Challenge, including the three newest ACC members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Times and networks for each game will be announced at a later date, as will the rest of the 2013-14 Yellow Jackets' schedule.

Illinois, which was undefeated and ranked 22nd when the teams met last Nov. 28 in Champaign, finished the season 23-13 overall and tied for seventh place in the Big Ten at 8-10. The Illini advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Miami. Tech went on to finish 16-15 overall and 6-12 in the ACC.

Tech is 1-7 all-time against the Illini, the lone win coming in the semifinals of the 1985 NCAA East Regional in Providence, R.I. (61-53). The teams have met once in Atlanta previously, a 59-57 Illinois victory over fourth-ranked Tech on March 1, 1986 at the Omni.

Gregory, a native of Mount Prospect, Ill., has a win over Illinois to his credit while head coach at Dayton, a 77-71 win in Champaign in the 2010 Post-Season NIT, and is 1-1 against the Illini as a head coach.

The Yellow Jackets are 4-9 in their previous Big Ten/ACC Challenge meetings and are 4-3 in Challenge games played in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight games in the annual series and last won on Nov. 28, 2006, a 77-73 home victory over Penn State.

TECH IN THE BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE
Overall record: 4-9 (Home: 3-3, Away: 1-6)
Date Result Opponent TR OR
11/28/12 aL 62-75 Illinois - 22/22
11/29/11 hL* 60-76 Northwestern - -
11/30/10 aL 71-91 Northwestern - -
2009 did not participate
12/30/08 hL 83-85 Penn State - -
11/27/07 aL 79-83 Indiana - 15/15
11/28/06 hW 77-73 Penn State 21/24 -
11/30/05 aL 88-86 Michigan State - 13/14
11/30/04 hW 99-68 Michigan 4/4 -
12/3/03 aW 73-53 Ohio State 13/15 -
12/4/02 aL 63-64 Minnesota - 20/17
11/28/01 hW 62-61 Wisconsin - -
11/28/00 aL 67-85 Iowa - -
12/1/99 hL* 77-80 Michigan - -
*Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.

2013 BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE MATCH UPS:
Tuesday, December 3rd
•Florida State @ Minnesota (5th all-time meeting in the Challenge, repeat of 2012 game at FSU)
•Illinois @ Georgia Tech (2nd all-time meeting in the Challenge, repeat of 2012 game at Illinois)
•Indiana @ Syracuse (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge, rematch of NCAA Tournament game from this year, Syracuse's first ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge game)
•Michigan @ Duke (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge)
•Notre Dame @ Iowa (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge, ND's first ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge game)
•Penn State @ Pittsburgh (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge, Pitt's first ever Big Ten/ACC Challenge game)

Wednesday, December 4th
•Boston College @ Purdue (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge)
•Maryland @ Ohio State (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge)
•Miami @ Nebraska (1st all-time meeting in the Challenge)
•North Carolina @ Michigan State (5th all-time meeting in the Challenge, first since 2009 at UNC)
•Northwestern @ NC State (3rd all-time meeting in the Challenge, first since 2009 at NCS)
•Wisconsin @ Virginia (2nd all-time meeting in the Challenge, repeat of 2012 game at Wisconsin)

Georgia Tech

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