Illini basketball will host NC State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Teams to meet for fourth time, first at either's home venue

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois will host NC State on Tuesday, Nov. 29, for the 18th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the school announced on Tuesday.

Last season, the Wolfpack went 16-17 overall and 5-13 ACC, the first year the team missed the NCAA Tournament under fifth-year head coach Mark Gottfried.

NC State loses junior Anthony Barber, who averaged 23.5 points last season, to the NBA but welcomes two five-star freshmen: center Omer Yurtseven and point guard Dennis Smith. Rising junior forward Abdul Mali-Abu is the team's returning leading scorer (12.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.8 rpg).

Illinois is 3-0 all-time against the Wolfpack with the last game (an Illini 85-76 win) at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. The two teams have never played at either's home venue. The Illini beat NC State 74-72 in the semifinal of the Gator Bowl Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1971. Illinois also beat the Wolfpack 84-70 in their first meeting in the 1951 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Illinois coach John Groce was an assistant at NC State under Herb Sendek from 1997-2000.

The Illini are 7-10 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and have lost three straight in the Challenge.

2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule

Monday, Nov. 28
Minnesota at Florida State
Wake Forest at Northwestern

Tuesday, Nov. 29
North Carolina State at Illinois
Syracuse at Wisconsin
Michigan State at Duke
Pittsburgh at Maryland
Iowa at Notre Dame
Georgia Tech at Penn State

Wednesday, Nov. 30
Ohio State at Louisville
North Carolina at Indiana
Purdue at Virginia
Virginia Tech at Michigan
Rutgers at Miami
Nebraska at Clemson

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