Iowa To Host Virginia Tech in 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

April 22, 2009

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Iowa’s men’s basketball team will host Virginia Tech Tuesday, Dec. 1 as part of the 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Game times and television information have not been released. The teams will meet for the second time as part of the Challenge. The Hokies defeated Iowa 69-65 in the 2006 event in Blacksburg, VA in the only previous meeting between the two teams.

Iowa is 2-6 in the Challenge after a 57-55 loss at Boston College a year ago. Iowa lost to Maryland, in Baltimore, in 1999, defeated Georgia Tech in 2000 in Iowa City, lost to Duke, in Chicago, in 2001 and lost at Florida State in 2002. Iowa did not take part in the event in 2003 and 2004 and defeated North Carolina State 45-42 in 2005 at Iowa City.

“Seth Greenberg is an outstanding coach who has been very successful with three programs,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter. “His teams are always competitive. I appreciate how hard they play and compete, every night, home and away. With a three-point loss to North Carolina as an example, Virginia Tech was very close in a number of games this past season.”

Virginia Tech posted a 19-15 overall record in 2009, including a 7-9 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hokies advanced to the second round of the NIT, ending the season with a loss to Baylor. Virginia Tech lost to NCAA champion North Carolina (79-76) in the ACC post-season tournament. The Hokies lost eight games by four points or less. Four of their top six scorers were sophomores a year ago, but leading scorer A.D. Vassallo (19.1) was a senior.

“We’re excited to have this as a home game, it’s an attractive opponent in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” added Lickliter. “Virginia Tech has been in post-season play the last three seasons. We know we will be facing a well-coached, veteran opponent.”

Iowa and Virginia Tech played three common foes during the 2009 season. Iowa split two games with Wisconsin, while the Badgers won at Virginia Tech. Iowa lost at Boston College and the Hokies split two games with the Eagles. Both Iowa and Tech had a non-conference win over Charleston Southern.

Virginia Tech is coached by Seth Greenberg. Greenberg has a 107-85 record in six years with the Hokies. His career mark is 320-255 in 19 seasons as a head coach. He has twice been named Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, most recently in 2007-08. Greenberg is 1-1 vs. Iowa, as the Hawkeyes defeated his Long Beach State team 101-79 in the finals of the 1993 Hawkeye Invitational.

When the teams met in Blacksburg, the Hokies led by nine at halftime and by as many as 15 in the second half. After trailing by 11 with three minutes to play, Iowa rallied to get within four points with 33 seconds remaining. VA Tech missed four free throw attempts in the final minute, but Iowa was unable to capitalize. Adam Haluska led Iowa with 24 points, while Zabian Dowdell scored 18 to lead the Hokies.

Iowa posted a 15-17 mark a year ago, dropping six games by four points or less while playing the 43rd strongest schedule in the nation. Iowa’s conference season was highlighted by home wins over Michigan, Wisconsin and NIT post-season champion Penn State.

For the fifth straight year, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge includes 11 games over a three-day period. Here is the schedule:

Monday, Nov. 30
Penn State at Virginia

Tuesday, Dec. 1
Virginia Tech at Iowa
Michigan State at North Carolina
Maryland at Indiana
Wake Forest at Purdue
Northwestern at N.C. State

Wednesday, Dec. 2
Illinois at Clemson
Duke at Wisconsin
Minnesota at Miami, FL
Florida State at Ohio State
Boston College at Michigan