Gophers face Miami in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Minnesota will face Miami in the 11th Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the conferences announced today. The Gophers and Hurricanes will meet Wednesday, Dec. 2, at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. The time has not been determined. Miami finished 19-13 last season, losing in the second round of the N.I.T. to in-state rival Florida 74-60. The two teams have never met before.

The Gophers wrapped up the 2008-09 with a loss to Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This was the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Gophers since 2005 and the 15th overall appearance for a Tubby Smith-led team.

The Gophers finished 22-11, the 16th straight season a Tubby Smith-led team reached the 20-win plateau. It is the longest active streak in the nation and the third-longest streak in NCAA history. Minnesota reached 20 total wins for just the ninth time in school history while Minnesota's 21 regular season wins is the second-most in school history behind the 24 victories in 1976-77.

Miami could be without their top two scorers next season. Jack McClinton, who averaged 19.3 points per game, is a senior who is hoping to be a second round draft pick and top rebounder Dwayne Collins, who averaged 10.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest, put his name into the 2009 NBA Draft. Collins is expected to return for his senior season.

Minnesota has never faced Miami but Gophers Head Coach Tubby Smith has a perfect record against the Hurricanes, a 74-65 victory during Kentucky's 1998-99 season and a 60-57 win during the 1999-2000 season.

The Gophers moved to 4-6 in the challenge following last season's 66-56 victory over Virginia at Williams Arena. The Michigan State Spartans have a record of 5-4 and are the only Big Ten team that has a better record than Minnesota in the 10 years of the challenge. Wisconsin mirrors the Gophers record at 4-6 while Illinois (3-7), Indiana (3-5), Michigan (3-5), Northwestern (3-7), Ohio State (3-5) and Penn State (3-5) all have three victories. Iowa and Purdue both have records of 2-6 in the event. Duke holds the best record at a perfect 10-0.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include two telecasts on ESPNU with ESPN and ESPN2 combining to televise the remaining nine games. ESPN360.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts.

Since 2000, the ACC (9) and the Big Ten (8) have combined for 17 Final Four appearances and five national titles - North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC and the Big Ten also rank 1-2, respectively, in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances.

2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule (times and networks are TBD)

Monday, Nov. 30
Penn State at Virginia

Tuesday, Dec. 1
Maryland at Indiana
Michigan State at North Carolina
Northwestern at North Carolina State
Virginia Tech at Iowa
Wake Forest at Purdue

Wednesday, Dec. 2
Boston College at Michigan
Duke at Wisconsin
Illinois at Clemson
Florida State at Ohio State
Illinois at Clemson
Minnesota at Miami (Fla.)

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