BIG 10 RELEASE
ROSEMONT, Ill. — For the 12th consecutive season, two of the nation’s premier women’s basketball conferences will square off for hardwood bragging rights, as the matchups for the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge were announced Monday. The annual challenge, which is scheduled to continue through the 2020-21 season, offers 14 high-quality matchups for the fifth consecutive season.
The Challenge takes place over two days in late November, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 28, with Big Ten schools Michigan State and Wisconsin playing host to ACC counterparts that evening, while Illinois, Indiana and Rutgers venture on the road. The following night (Thursday, Nov. 29), Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue will serve as the Big Ten host schools, while Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State will play at ACC sites.
Last year’s Challenge proved to be one of the most competitive in the event’s history, with 10 of the 14 games decided by 10 points or fewer, including four games decided by one point, with the ACC ultimately prevailing by a 10-4 count. Last year, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin registered wins for the Big Ten.
The ACC and Big Ten offices collaborate to determine the Challenge schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge rotates each year. The 2018 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the two conferences’ Challenge agreements for men’s basketball and softball.
The ACC and Big Ten have been among the most competitive conferences on the national women’s basketball landscape for many years, with both conferences sending 10 schools to postseason play in 2017-18.
The Big Ten sent six schools to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, as Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State all advanced to the national tournament, with Ohio State earning a top-four national seed. Four other Big Ten squads (Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue) participated in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), with Indiana winning its first WNIT championship with a 65-57 win over ACC member Virginia Tech in the title game before a record-setting crowd of 13,007 fans at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Last season, the ACC had eight women’s basketball programs selected to the NCAA Tournament, while two ACC schools competed in the WNIT.
Game times, as well as television and streaming video coverage, for this year’s ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge will be announced at a later date. The complete schedule of home/away matchups can be found below.
2018 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge
Wednesday, Nov. 28
Illinois at Clemson
Indiana at Wake Forest
Virginia at Michigan State
Rutgers at Virginia Tech
Duke at Wisconsin
Thursday, Nov. 29
Iowa at Notre Dame
Georgia Tech at Maryland
Michigan at NC State
Syracuse at Minnesota
Nebraska at Louisville
Pittsburgh at Northwestern
North Carolina at Ohio State
Penn State at Florida State
Miami at Purdue