Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge to feature three Top 25 matchups plus Indiana vs. Duke
• The 20th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge begins Monday with 14 games taking place through Wednesday. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event.
• Through the first three weeks of the season, the Big Ten and ACC have the top two win percentages and win totals among all Division I conferences. Big Ten teams have combined for a 67-13 record for an .838 win percentage while the ACC programs are 71-14 with an .835 win percentage. The Big Ten has five undefeated teams while the ACC has four unbeatens.
• Three Challenge match-ups pit ranked teams in the AP Poll with No. 4 Virginia battling No. 24 Maryland, No. 7 Michigan playing at No. 11 North Carolina and No. 15 Florida State hosting No. 19 Purdue. Also featured is a freshman showdown between Romeo Langford and Indiana and Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish and No. 3 Duke.
• Three of the games will have first-time Challenge matchups: Syracuse-Ohio State, Minnesota-Boston College and Pitt-Iowa.
• Several games are rematches from prior Challenges: Georgia Tech-Northwestern, Indiana-Duke and UNC-Michigan, who all met in last year’s Challenge; Nebraska-Clemson and Rutgers-Miami (Fla.) in 2016; Michigan State-Louisville and Illinois-Notre Dame (2015); Virginia Tech-Penn State and Virginia-Maryland (2014); NC State-Wisconsin (2010), and Purdue-Florida State, who haven’t met in this event since 2005.
• Seven Big Ten programs are ranked in the Top 25 in this week’s Associated Press Poll. With seven teams ranked in the AP Poll, it marks the first time the Big Ten has seven teams ranked in the poll since the Feb. 9, 1999 poll.
Monday, November 26
7:00 p.m. – Nebraska at Clemson ESPN2
9:00 p.m. – Minnesota at Boston College ESPN2
Tuesday, November 27
7:00 p.m. – Virginia Tech at Penn State ESPN2
7:00 p.m. – Illinois at Notre Dame ESPNU
7:30 p.m. – Michigan State at Louisville ESPN
9:00 p.m. – NC State at Wisconsin ESPN2
9:00 p.m. – Pitt at Iowa ESPNU
9:30 p.m. – Indiana at Duke ESPN
Wednesday, November 28
7:00 p.m. – Virginia at Maryland ESPN or ESPN2
7:00 p.m. – Syracuse at Ohio State ESPN or ESPN2
7:00 p.m. – Rutgers at Miami ESPNU
9:00 p.m. – North Carolina at Michigan ESPN
9:00 p.m. – Purdue at Florida State ESPN2
9:00 p.m. – Georgia Tech at Northwestern ESPNU
Noting ACC Basketball
• The ACC led all conferences a year ago, and tied a league record it set in 2017, with nine NCAA Tournament teams.
• With its 12-9 mark in this past year’s NCAA Tournament, the ACC has finished .500 or better in each of the last 31 NCAA tournaments. The Big Ten has the next longest active streak at 12. Over that 31-year span the Big East (3), Big Ten (3), Big 12 (8), SEC (9) and Pac-12 (13) have endured losing NCAA tournament seasons at least three times each.
• With 609 wins among its 15 current members, the ACC is the all-time winningest conference in NCAA Tournament history with a .614 winning percentage.
• The ACC has combined to win an NCAA Tournament record 59 games over the last four years, eclipsing the previous mark of 53 also set by the ACC from 2014-17 and 1990-93.
• The ACC has had multiple Sweet 16 teams in 34 of the last 39 NCAA Tournaments, including 16 years with three-or-more teams and 11 years with four-or-more.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.