DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke welcomes Indiana to Durham Wednesday, Dec. 2, as a part of the 17th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, ESPN announced Wednesday. This year’s event, which runs from Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, includes the expanded format of 14 games, which began last season.
This 2015 Big Ten/ACC Challenge field showcases some of the best teams in the country, exhibited by the nine programs receiving a top-25 ranking in ESPN.com’s preseason poll. Thirteen of the teams participating also played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, including six schools from the ACC and seven teams from the Big Ten.
Duke heads into this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge on a three-game win streak in Challenge contests, with victories over Ohio State (2012), Michigan (2013) and Wisconsin (2014). Duke is 14-2 overall in its 16 Challenge games, with the team's only two losses coming against Wisconsin (2009) and Ohio State (2011).
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and WatchESPN will provide coverage of all 14 games as the teams compete for the Commissioner’s Cup, awarded to the conference which wins the most games in the Challenge. Last season, the Big Ten took home the Commissioner’s Cup after winning eight of the 14 games. The ACC and the Big Ten split the previous two events, when the Challenge was comprised of 12 games. Over the course of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the ACC proved victorious in the first 10, from 1999 through 2008, while the Big Ten won the next three from 2009 through 2011.
2015 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule (times and networks will be announced in August):
Mon, Nov 30
Clemson at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Rutgers
Tue, Dec 1
No. 4 Maryland at No. 2 North Carolina
No. 5 Virginia at Ohio State
Michigan at NC State
Purdue at Pittsburgh
Northwestern at Virginia Tech
Miami (Fla.) at Nebraska
Wed, Dec 2
No. 14 Indiana at No. 7 Duke
No. 21 Louisville at No. 12 Michigan State
No. 13 Notre Dame at Illinois
No. 25 Wisconsin at Syracuse
Florida State at Iowa
Penn State at Boston College
-First Challenge Matchups: Eight of the 14 games will mark first-time Challenge matchups: Maryland at North Carolina, Wisconsin at Syracuse, Purdue at Pittsburgh, Louisville at Michigan State, Virginia at Ohio State, Notre Dame at Illinois, Wake Forest at Rutgers and Northwestern at Virginia Tech.
-Louisville has won five of its nine games against Michigan State, but lost to the Spartans 76-70 in last year’s Elite Eight.
-This season’s Illinois and Notre Dame matchup will mark the 40th meeting between the programs ever, but the first since 2003. Illinois leads the series 26-13.
-In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Syracuse won two of its three matchups against Wisconsin, including a 64-63 Sweet Sixteen victory in the 2012 Championship; Ohio State and Virginia will meet for the fifth time ever and the first since 1981, which also marked the only time the Cavaliers beat the Buckeyes; and Purdue has won six of the 10 games against Pittsburgh, including the last meeting in 1977.
-In addition to meeting in the Challenge for the first time, Wake Forest at Rutgers and Northwestern at Virginia Tech will also be the first game between the programs ever.
-Looking for 15: Duke has won more Challenge games than any other team, taking 14 of its 16 matchups with its only two losses coming to Wisconsin (2009) and Ohio State (2011).
-Rubber Match: Boston College and Penn State will square off in the Challenge for the third time with each winning one game, both as the road team (Penn State in 2011 and Boston College in 2012).
-Three’s a Charm: Duke will look for a third Challenge victory over Indiana after defeating the Hoosiers in 2005 and 2006.
-Seven of the last 15 NCAA Basketball Championships have been won by teams currently competing in the ACC ... the American Athletic Conference and the SEC are tied for second with three titles each.
-With 582 wins among its 15 current members, the ACC is the all-time winningest conference in NCAA Tournament annals ... North Carolina is second all-time to Kentucky (120) with 112 NCAA Tournament victories, Duke is third (105), Louisville (75) sixth, and Syracuse (61) eighth.
-Teams currently in the ACC have combined to win 16 NCAA National Championships ... Duke and North Carolina each have five national titles, followed by Louisville (3), NC State (2), and Syracuse (1).
-At least one ranked team has played in 84 of the 169 Challenge games played to date ... 36 games have had both teams ranked ... in the 2001 game between Michigan State and Virginia that was cancelled because of a slippery floor, both teams were ranked.