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Duke to Face Michigan in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Saturday 05/22/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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DURHAM, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday the pairings for the annual ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, which includes Duke traveling to Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 28.  The challenge is in its sixth year of what began as a four-year agreement and has been extended until 2016.

The 2012 Challenge will feature a two-day format again this year and is slated to open on Wednesday, Nov. 28, as North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College, and Virginia Tech host Big Ten foes, and Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Clemson travel to perform in front of non-conference crowds. Miami, NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest are in action on Thursday, Nov. 29, the second day of the Challenge.

Duke and Michigan will meet for the fourth time in school history with the Blue Devils leading the overall series, 3-0.  The last time the two squads faced off were on Dec. 7, 2008 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Duke last traveled to Michigan on Nov. 25, 2006 with the Blue Devils notching a 92-47 victory. 

The ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge matches teams from each conference in head-to-head competition, traditionally on the first Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving following the Big Ten/ACC Men’s Basketball Challenge.

The ACC won the first four Challenge titles, while in 2011 the two conferences each won six games for the first tie in Challenge history. The inaugural Challenge in 2007 saw the ACC collect its all-time high of eight victories.

The ACC and Big Ten conference offices determine the schedule each season, and matchups may repeat from year-to-year in efforts to coordinate similar opponents and reach competitive equity. 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.

Through five Challenges, Georgia Tech and Maryland remain the only undefeated teams for either conference.

The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. This past 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, including four in the past seven years.
For the first time in league history, the Big Ten had seven conference teams selected to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. 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 had at least one squad participate in five of the last 14 Final Fours, owning eight overall appearances.

Since the 1999-2000 season, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 131 occasions with the ACC holding a 71-60 advantage. Last season, the Big Ten compiled a 9-7 record over ACC teams.

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 theACC.com.

As a team, the Blue Devils registered a 27-6 overall record in 2011-12 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.  Under the direction of the 2012 ACC Coach of the Year Joanne P. McCallie, Duke collected its third straight ACC regular season title and the first outright title since the 2006-07 campaign with a 15-1 mark.

Duke will return four starters in 2012-13, including Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston, Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters.  The Blue Devils will return 88.7 percent of their scoring next season as Duke loses only two seniors -- Shay Selby and Kathleen ScheerJoanne P. McCallie, who is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, enters her sixth season with the Blue Devils.

2012 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE                                                                                    
Wednesday, November 28

Ohio State at North Carolina
Iowa at Florida State
Wisconsin at  Virginia Tech
Duke at Michigan
Maryland at  Nebraska
Georgia Tech at  Purdue
Clemson at Indiana
Northwestern at Boston College
                                     
Thursday, November 29
Penn State at Miami
Michigan State at  NC State
Virginia at  Minnesota
Wake Forest at  Illinois

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