The #18 Virginia Cavaliers welcome the Wisconsin Badgers to Charlottesville tonight for the 19th running of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The marquee event that pits two of the top college basketball conferences against one another began all the way back in 1999 and has continued to evolve as both conferences changed their member institutions with realignment. The ACC leads the event 11-5-2 - including winning the first 10 matchups - but the Big Ten has won five of the last eight. Last year was the first the ACC won the event outright since 2008, and the Hoos did their part with a come-from-behind 63-61 win over Ohio State.
The Hoos have played in each event since it’s implementation, and Virginia has done very well in the challenge with an 11-6 record (if you noticed the math doesn’t add up, that’s because the 2001 matchup between UVA and Michigan State was cancelled due to moisture on the court from the underlying ice rink). Only Duke has more wins (16) and Virginia is tied with Wake Forest with 11 overall wins on the ACC side. Virginia’s three-game win streak in the event is tied with Miami and Notre Dame, and behind only Duke (five straight) for the best active streak in the ACC.
No Big Ten teams have more than nine wins in the event.
Virginia has played as a ranked team seven times, winning all of them minus the rematch in 2002 with Michigan State following the cancelled game. In that game, the Hoos were No. 22 to MSU’s No. 21 ranking. The Hoos have also pulled off an upset of a ranked team in the event twice with wins over #15 Minnesota (2010) and #14 Michigan (2011).
Tony Bennett is 6-2 in the challenge in his time at the helm of the Hoos.
Here’s the complete history of Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge:
Virginia in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
|2001||9||#22 Michigan State||Cancelled||Cancelled|
|2002||22||#21 Michigan State||L||82-75|
Last time out in the challenge, Virginia needed 19 points from London Perrantes - 15 of which came in the second half - to defeat the Buckeyes 63-61. The Hoos were down 36-24 at halftime before Perrantes and Hall (12 points) helped will their team to victory.