ESPN has produced some great made-for-TV college basketball over the years, but for those of us in Big Ten country there isn’t anything greater than the original ESPN production — the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge…but we all know it’s the Big Ten/ACC (because the conference still owns the crown) Challenge.
It’s back for 2014 and we knew it would be chalk-full of big matchups and Top 25 implications. On Tuesday the times and TV networks were announced for the annual tournament.
Highlighting the matchups are Tuesday and Wednesday’s ESPN doubleheaders. On Tuesday, Dec. 2 ESPN will give us No. 21 Syracuse at No. 24 Michigan and Ohio State at No. 8 Louisville. Wednesday we’ll see perhaps the two most intriguing matchups in the challenge with No. 25 Iowa going to No. 6 North Carolina and No. 2 Duke going to No. 4 Wisconsin.
The last matchup between Duke and Wisconsin produced perhaps the most memorable win on the Big Ten side of things, as Wisconsin beat No. 5-ranked Duke 73-69 in the 2009 season.
We will also see Maryland take on former conference rival Virginia during the final night of the tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
As it stands, the Big Ten currently holds the title in this series, as the last two seasons have been ties and the Big Ten was the last conference to win the title outright. Following ten years of domination by the ACC, the Big Ten won three straight before the two ties in the last two years.
This season a tie is still possible, with 14 teams from each league participating.
Here is the full schedule:
Mon, Dec 1
Nebraska at Florida State
Rutgers at Clemson
Tue, Dec 2
Pittsburgh at Indiana
Minnesota at Wake Forest
No. 21 Syracuse at No. 24 Michigan
Illinois at Miami
ESPN2 or ESPNU
NC State at Purdue
ESPN2 or ESPNU
Ohio State at No. 8 Louisville
Wed, Dec 3
No. 18 Michigan State at Notre Dame
Virginia Tech at Penn State
No. 25 Iowa at No. 6 North Carolina
No. 7 Virginia at Maryland
Georgia Tech at Northwestern
No. 2 Duke at No. 4 Wisconsin