DURHAM, N.C.- The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten announced Wednesday the matchups for the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, which includes Duke traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 3, 2014. This year’s challenge will mark the eighth year of the event that pits two perennial strong conferences against each other.
All 14 Big Ten teams and 14 of the 15 ACC teams will participate in the 2014 challenge, including Louisville, which will join the ACC on July 1, 2014.
Challenge games will be contested in a two-day format beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The eight-game slate on Dec. 3 includes home games for Boston College (vs. Indiana), NC State (vs. Minnesota) and Notre Dame (vs. Maryland) at Fort Wayne, Ind., while Florida State (at Purdue), Duke (at Nebraska), Pittsburgh (at Ohio State), Virginia (at Illinois), and Wake Forest (at Michigan) will be on the road.
On Thursday, Dec. 4, Louisville (vs. Iowa), Miami (vs. Wisconsin), Syracuse (vs. Penn State), Virginia Tech (vs. Northwestern)will host Big Ten opponents, and North Carolina (at Rutgers) and Georgia Tech (at Michigan State) visit their inter-conference foes.
Duke and Nebraska will meet for the second time in school history with the Blue Devils holding a 1-0 advantage. The last time the two schools met was March 31, 2013 in the NCAA Sweet 16 with Duke posting a 53-45 win in Norfolk, Va.
A year ago, the ACC combined for a 7-5 mark against its Big Ten counterparts to win its sixth Challenge title. The ACC owns 48-32 edge over the Big Ten in Challenge games.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most competitive conferences on the women's basketball scene. Since 1982, the ACC (16) and the Big Ten (8) have combined for 24 berths in the Final Four and have combined for 318 total appearances in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Last season, the ACC sent nine teams to postseason play, the most in conference history, and had two teams in the Final Four.
As a team, Duke collected a 28-7 overall and 12-4 league mark in 2013-14. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round and won the 2013 Paradise Jam title as McCallie completed her seventh year at Duke. The Blue Devils will return two starters – Elizabeth Williams and Alexis Jones -- and eight letterwinners in 2014-15, while welcoming the second-ranked recruiting class in the nation.
Nebraska is coming off notching a 26-7 overall and 12-4 mark in the Big Ten a season ago. The reigning Big Ten champions will return four starters – Rachel Theriot, Emily Cady, Hallie Sample and Tear’a Laudermill under head coach Connie Yori.
2014 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Dec. 3 Maryland at Notre Dame Indiana at Boston College Minnesota at NC State Florida State at Purdue Duke at Nebraska Wake Forest at Michigan Virginia at Illinois Pittsburgh at Ohio State
Dec. 4 Iowa at Louisville Penn State at Syracuse Northwestern at Virginia Tech Wisconsin at Miami North Carolina at Rutgers Georgia Tech at Michigan State