NC State to Face U-M in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

NC State will square off against Michigan on Nov. 27 in the eighth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the ACC announced today.

The Wolfpack hosts the Wolverines in the opening round of the 2006 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN2. U-M prevailed over N.C. State 68-61 in their last Challenge meeting in 2003.

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Matchups for the eighth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge have been determined with the event featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner's Cup. 

For the second consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games (an increase from nine in the six previous years) from 11 different college campuses and include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network.  ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games.  This year's event will be played on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (November 27-29). 

Since 2000, these two conferences have combined to make 13 Final Four appearances and captured four of the last seven NCAA Championships. In addition, the ACC and Big Ten rank either first or second in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, victories and Final Four appearances.
 
2006 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (ALL TIMES ET)
Monday, Nov. 27
Michigan at N.C. State- 7 p.m.- ESPN2                                    

Tuesday, Nov. 28
Maryland at Illinois- 7 p.m.- ESPN                                      
Florida State at Wisconsin- 7:30 p.m.- ESPN2                                    
Penn State at Georgia Tech - 8 p.m.- ESPNU                                    
Indiana at Duke-9 p.m.- ESPN                                      
Miami at Northwestern- 9:30 p.m.- ESPN2                                    

Wednesday, Nov. 29
Michigan State at Boston College-7 p.m.-ESPN                                        
Virginia at Purdue-7:30 p.m.-ESPN2                                    
Iowa at Virginia Tech-8 p.m.-ESPNU                                     
Ohio State at North Carolina-9 p.m.-ESPN 
Clemson at Minnesota-9:30 p.m.-ESPN2                                    

2006 Challenge highlights:
Challenge Rematch: College basketball tradition-rich programs Duke and Indiana will meet for the second consecutive year Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.  The Hoosiers rank third all-time with five national titles, while the Blue Devils rank fifth with three.  Duke, the only team to go undefeated in the Challenge at 7-0, won last year's game 75-67.

Four Challenge Rematches: There will be four rematches from the previous seven Challenges: 
  - Michigan defeated N.C. State 68-61 (2003)
  - Maryland defeated Illinois 76-63 (2001)
  - Duke defeated Indiana 75-67 (2005)
  - Virginia defeated Purdue 98-79 (2000)

New Team to the Challenge: The ACC's Boston College will make its first Challenge appearance hosting Michigan State Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

ESPNU Televises Two Games: For the second consecutive year, ESPNU will televise two games, both at 8 p.m.: Penn State at Georgia Tech Tuesday, Nov. 28 and Iowa at Virginia Tech Wednesday, Nov. 29. 

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

LAST YEAR'S COVERAGE INCLUDED THE HIGHEST RATED CHALLENGE GAME
Last year's Duke at Indiana game was ESPN's highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge telecast ever, averaging a 2.5 rating and 2,285,000 households.  It surpassed the previous high of a 2.0 rating and 1,749,000 households for North Carolina at Indiana in 2004.

ESPN's coverage of the 2005 Big Ten/ACC Challenge experienced audience growth over the 2004 event.  ESPN's four telecasts in 2005 averaged a 1.7 rating and 1,493,000 households for increases of 6% (vs. 1.6) and 5% (vs. 1,423,000) over the four games in 2004.


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