The matchups for this fall's ACC-Big Ten Challenge are out, and Virginia will take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Charlottesville, as first reported by David Teel of the Daily Press.
This December's game is a rematch of last year's pairing, when UVA went to the Kohl Center and took down Wisconsin 60-54. Anticipated by fans because of the family connections of Tony Bennett to the state and dreaded by pacists because of the low tempos of both teams (Wisconsin finished 318th in adjusted tempo, UVA was 328th), the game went to the Hoos because of Joe Harris's 22 points and Coach Bennett's tenacious defense.
The rematch this season figures to be another one between two quality opponents. Wahoo fans aren't the only ones who have lofty expectations for next year's team. Wisconsin loses stars Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans, but returns plenty of firepower, notably Ben Brust, and, most important of all, will still play outstanding defense. In terms of (very) early national predictions, CBSSports pegs the Badgers at 13th, while Joe Lunardi projects them as an NCAA tourney 5 seed (and has another UVA rematch in store!)
Nabbing a game with the Badgers secures another quality opponent on to UVA's 2013-2014 schedule. The home games we know about so far are VCU, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
After winning the first 10 Challenges beginning in 1999, the ACC dropped three straight to the Big Ten; last year's ended in a 6-6 tie. However, the conference can't blame the Hoos for its four-year winless drought. Besides its victory in Madison last season, Virginia picked up a big home win over then-#15 Michigan in 2011 and also upset Minnesota on the road in 2010. UVA's last ACC-B1G loss came at the hands of Penn State, when Talor Battle dropped 32 points on Sylven Landesberg and company.
Because the additions of Pitt, Syracuse, and Notre Dame bring the conference to 15 teams, three ACC teams will not participate. The odd men out this season are Wake Forest, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.
The full slate of games is below. Seven of the 12 games are first-time Challenge matchups, including Michigan's game at Duke, which figures to be a highlight of slate. Other notable pairings are UNC at Michigan State and Indiana at Syracuse, a rematch of last season's Sweet 16 game. Historically, home teams are 84-49, including a 46-20 mark for home ACC squads.
Tuesday, December 3rd
Florida State at Minnesota
Illinois at Georgia Tech
Indiana at Syracuse
Michigan at Duke
Notre Dame at Iowa
Penn State at Pitt
Wednesday, December 4th
Boston College at Purdue
Maryland at Ohio State
Miami at Nebraska
North Carolina at Michigan State
Northwestern at NC State
Wisconsin at Virginia