Iowa to Host Georgia Tech in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

May 14, 2007

The University of Iowa women’s basketball team will host Georgia Tech in the inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on November 28 with the game time yet to be determined.

The formation of this annual event will span at least four years. The Challenge will match 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after Thanksgiving, following the men’s basketball Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Georgia Tech finished sixth in the ACC a year ago with a 9-5 league record, while Iowa tied for eighth in the Big Ten with a 6-10 conference mark. Both the Yellow Jackets and Hawkeyes return 10 letterwinners. Georgia Tech returns three starters, while Iowa returns all five starters.

“The new Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge will bring tremendous excitement to our already tough schedule,” said Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “We are thrilled we have the opportunity to host this year and we are playing a team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. What a great chance for our fans to get involved in a game that the nation will have its eyes on. The ACC is one of the top women’s basketball conferences in America and the Big Ten is looking forward to meeting them in head on competition.”

Since the 1999-00 season, the Big Ten and ACC have squared off 57 times, with the ACC holding a 29-28 advantage. This will be the first meeting between Iowa and Georgia Tech. Overall, Iowa is 9-2 against teams from the ACC.

In most recent competition, the 2007-08 campaign concluded with the rating the ACC and the Big Ten third and fourth, respectively, in the final RPI. In the same report, the Big Ten was ranked first in strength of schedule, followed by the ACC in third.

“The Big Ten Conference and its institutions are thrilled for the formation of this great event and the Big Ten/ACC Challenge will provide a wonderful stage on which these two traditionally dominant women’s basketball conferences will compete,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “The Big Ten and the ACC boast some of the most passionate women’s basketball fans in the country and we feel this Challenge will not only strengthen our teams, but our loyal fan base as well.”

“The Atlantic Coast Conference is pleased to be part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for women’s basketball,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “To be able to showcase our women’s basketball teams in premier competition with the Big Ten Conference in a great event like this will create excitement and enthusiasm with our participating teams and their fans.”

The Big Ten and ACC conference offices will coordinate the 11-game schedule each season, which may include rematches from year-to-year. In addition, the official title of the Challenge will rotate each year beginning with the Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge in 2007. The 2008 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge. The name of the annual series will continue to mirror the official title of the men’s basketball event.

Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date.

Iowa’s complete 2007-08 schedule will be released in late August.

2007 Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge

November 19
Michigan at Miami

November 28
Wake Forest at Northwestern
Georgia Tech at Iowa

November 29
Clemson at Michigan State
Purdue at North Carolina
Illinois at NC State

November 30
Ohio State at Maryland
Minnesota at Virginia Tech
Florida State at Indiana
Wisconsin at Virginia

December 2
Duke at Penn State

2008: ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Dec. 3, 4, 5
2009: Big Ten/ACC Challenge – Dec. 2, 3, 4
2010: ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Dec. 1, 2, 3

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