May 22, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences announced the matchups for the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge on Tuesday. This year's challenge will mark the sixth year of an event that has been extended to 2016.
Challenge games will be contested in a two-day format, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 28. Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue and Indiana will host games on the first day, while Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin will be on the road. On Nov. 29, Illinois and Minnesota will host ACC foes, while Michigan State and Penn State visit their inter-conference opponents. A year ago, the Big Ten and ACC battled to a 6-6 draw, the first tie in the Challenge's history, while the Big Ten boasted a 9-7 record over ACC teams in all games played.
Purdue will play host to Georgia Tech on Nov. 28. Former Boilermaker MaChelle Joseph is entering her 10th year as Georgia Tech's head coach and led the Yellow Jackets to a 26-9 record last season that ended with a loss to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Joseph played from 1988 to 1992 and remains Purdue's all-time leading scorer with 2,405 points and all-time assist leader with 628. Purdue and Georgia Tech have met just once with the Boilermakers earning a 76-63 victory on March 19, 2007, in Minneapolis to advance to the NCAA Dallas Regional of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
The Boilermakers are coming off a 25-9 season that included a Big Ten Tournament championship and a tie for second place in the Big Ten regular season. Purdue lost five seniors from the 2011-12 club, but returns four starters with guards KK Houser and Courtney Moses and forwards Sam Ostarello and Drey Mingo. Mingo, a 6-foot-2 forward from Atlanta, was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing last season with a torn ACL.
Purdue is looking for its first win in the Challenge. The Boilermakers have played at Duke, North Carolina and Virginia, while playing host to Maryland twice in the previous five years.
The ACC and Big Ten conference offices determine the schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge will rotate each year. The 2012 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the two conferences' Challenge agreement for men's basketball.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women's basketball scene. For the first time in league history, the Big Ten had seven conference teams selected to the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship in 2012. Historically, the Big Ten has sent at least one team to the NCAA's Sweet 16 in 26 of the last 28 years and has sent eight teams to the Final Four.
Last season, the ACC was represented by seven overall postseason squads, including four teams in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship that were tabbed as top-four seeds. Overall, the ACC has made 14 Final Four appearances.
Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date. For more information about the ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge, including a complete schedule, log on to bigten.org.