Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Indiana to visit NC State in B1G/ACC Challenge

The match-ups were announced today for the 2011 edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The event will consist of 12 games in 2 days, 6 games per day. Newest Big Ten member Nebraska makes its debut as the challenge will be 12 games for the first time in its 13 year history. After the ACC dominated the first 10 years by going 10-0, the Big Ten will ride a 2-year win streak into the late November event.
Here's a complete rundown of the match-ups:
Nov. 29
Miami at Purdue
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Illinois at Maryland
Michigan at Virginia
Clemson at Iowa
Duke at Ohio State

Nov. 30
Indiana at North Carolina State
Penn State at Boston College
Florida State at Michigan State
Virginia Tech at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Nebraska
Wisconsin at North Carolina

(analysis after the jump...)

The addition of Nebraska means that the ACC will be able to use all of their teams in the Challenge this year. Since 2005, the conference has forced the team who finished last the season before to not be a part of the Challenge. Now with 12 teams in both conference, all 24 teams can participate. This also opens up the possibility of a 6-6 tie. We have not yet heard what the tiebreaker would be in that situation, or if there will be one at all.
Indiana comes into the NC State game with a 3-year Challenge losing streak. This is the second worst current streak in the conference behind Iowa's 5 straight losses. NC State comes in with the same streak, tied for worst in the ACC with Georgia Tech and Florida State.
The Wolfpack are in the midst of a coaching change, with former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried taking over after the resignation of Sidney Lowe. Lowe compiled a 86-78 record in five years as head coach of his alma mater. Over those 5 seasons, the Pack went 1-3 in the Challenge and skipped a year after finishing in last place in '07-'08. New coach Gottfried has a career record of 279-154 in 13+ seasons at Murray State and Alabama. He led the Racers to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances before taking the job at his alma mater Alabama. His tenure with the Crimson Tide included 5 trips to the NCAA tournament and a spot in the 2004 Elite Eight. He coached current NBA players Gerald Wallace, Mo Williams and Alonzo Gee while at Alabama.
NC State returns star sophomore CJ Leslie (11.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg last year), as well as junior Indiana-native Scott Wood (9.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg). They lost their leading scorer Tracy Smith to graduation, as well as sophomore Ryan Harrow to a transfer. The 2011 recruiting class currently consists of forward Tyler Harris and guard Jaqawn Raymond.

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