Pack Faces Iowa In ACC/Big Ten Challenge

NC State will face Iowa in the final game of the 2005 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on November 29th at 9:30 pm EST.

NC State will face Iowa in the final game of the 2005 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on November 29th at 9:30 pm EST.

The game will be televised by ESPN2. This will mark the first time the Wolfpack and Hawkeyes will have clashed in the challenge.

The Hawkeyes will enter the season as one of the favorites to win the Big 10 conference. Iowa finished the 2004-2005 season with a 21-12 overall record, losing to Cincinnati in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawkeyes will return all five starters from the final 13 games of the 2005 season, including three players, Greg Brunner, Adam Haluska and Jeff Horner, who earned all-Big Ten recognition. Both Horner and Brunner will be seniors and both have scored over 1,000 career points, while Haluska scored 467 points in 2005. Center Erek Hansen returns for his senior season and guard Mike Henderson, like Haluska, will be a junior.

Iowa will return 84.6% of its scoring from 2005, along with 90.9% of its rebounding, 81.6% of its assists and 78.5% of its steals. Iowa's returning players shot 45.5% from the field, 38.7% from three-point range and 71.9% from the free throw line.

NC State will also return an experienced squad, welcoming back four starters from last year's team that advanced into the NCAA Tournament. Another player who started earlier in the season, senior guard Tony Bethel, will also return. The Wolfpack will have to replace seniors Julius Hodge, Levi Watkins, and Jordan Collins.

2005 ACC-Big Ten Challenge Schedule (ALL TIMES ET)


Monday, Nov. 28

7:30 p.m.          ESPN2           Virginia Tech at Ohio State


Tuesday, Nov. 29

7:00 p.m.          ESPN             Wisconsin at Wake Forest    

7:30 p.m.          ESPN2           Purdue at Florida State         

8:00 p.m.          ESPNU          Clemson at Penn State          

9:00 p.m.          ESPN             Illinois at North Carolina      

9:30 p.m.          ESPN2           Miami at Michigan


7:00 p.m.          ESPN             Georgia Tech at Michigan State

7:30 p.m.          ESPN2           Minnesota at Maryland

8:00 p.m.          ESPNU          Northwestern at Virginia

9:00 p.m.          ESPN             Duke at Indiana

9:30 p.m.          ESPN2           N.C. State at Iowa




2005 Challenge highlights:


ESPNU Televises Two Additional Games:

The launch of ESPNU will provide fans with coverage of two additional Challenge games, both at 8 p.m.: Clemson at Penn State Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Northwestern at Virginia Wednesday, Nov. 30.  The ESPNU games will also be syndicated in the local markets of the competing teams and offered on ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN's college basketball pay-per-view package. 


Three Final Four Teams in Action:

North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan State -- three of last year's Final Four teams -- will be in action.  In addition to the rematch of last year's championship game between Illinois and North Carolina (Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. on ESPN), Michigan State will host Georgia Tech, a 2004 championship game participant (Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. on ESPN). 


Top Programs in Competition:

Five of the top 10 teams in last year's final ESPN/USA Today rankings and seven of the top 25 will compete in the Challenge --  #1 North Carolina, #2 Illinois, #4 Michigan State, #7 Duke, #10 Wisconsin, #11 Wake Forest and #22 N.C. State.


Perennial Powers Meet:

College basketball tradition-rich programs Duke and Indiana will meet in Bloomington, Ind. on ESPN Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m.  The Hoosiers rank third all-time with five national titles, while the Blue Devils rank fifth with three.


New Teams to the Challenge:

This year's Challenge will include two new teams with the addition of Miami and Virginia Tech from the ACC.  Virginia Tech will tip off the 11-game event at Ohio State Monday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Miami will visit Michigan Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 9:30 p.m.  ESPN2 will televise both games.


Commissioner's Cup:

The ACC has won the Commissioner's Cup six straight years.


The 2005 Challenge will mark the first year of a six-year agreement (through 2010) between ESPN, the ACC and the Big Ten to continue the annual men's college basketball inter-conference Challenge.


ESPN and ESPN2's coverage of the 2004 ACC/Big Ten Challenge experienced significant audience growth over the 2003 event.  ESPN's four telecasts in 2004 averaged a 1.6 rating and 1,423,000 households for increases of 33% (vs. 1.2) and 30% (vs. 1,094,000) over the four games in 2003.  ESPN2's five matchups averaged a 0.6 rating and 495,000 households for increases of 50% (vs. 0.4) and 35% (vs. 365,000) over 2003's five telecasts. 


In addition, 2004's coverage included ESPN's highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge telecast ever: North Carolina at Indiana with a 2.0 average rating and 1,749,000 households.



The ACC Media Relations contributed to this report.

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