The matchups for this fall's ACC-Big Ten Challenge are coming out, and Virginia will take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. The game will be played on Tuesday, December 1, though time and TV are still TBA.
The Buckeyes are coming off a 24-11 season, during which the team knocked off VCU in the first round of the NCAAs before succumbing to Arizona. With the loss of freshman guard D'Angelo Russell to the NBA Draft, OSU is a bit of an unknown next season; they lose three starters and won't have a single senior on the roster next year. Our colleagues over at LGHL noted that the experts largely have Ohio State outside of their "too-early top 25" lists, and Joe Lunardi has the team in his "Last Four Out" for his (also way too-early) Bracketology. (They do expect that OSU will be picked to finish between fifth and seventh in the Big Ten when the official preseason poll is out).
UVA is 1-3 against the Buckeyes all time. The team's last meeting came in 1981, an 89-73 Wahoo victory at U-Hall.
Virginia is playing on the road in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the second consecutive season, a break from the event's normal pattern of alternating home and road games. While big home games are fun to have on the schedule and the ACC's regular season champion is a strange choice to send on the road two years in a row, a shift is probably overdue. Because of the typical alternation policy, Virginia has only been "on schedule" to play half the teams in the Big Ten. (Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Penn State, Maryland, Northwestern, and Wisconsin all played at home last season, but each of those matchups would either be unexciting or a bit too stale.) Our sense of "fairness" aside, road wins are valued by the Selection Committee, and this gives Virginia another chance to pick up a decent one.
The game is yet another quality addition to the Virginia Cavaliers' 2015-2016 schedule. In the out-of-conference, we know that UVA will take on George Washington on the road on 11/16 and host Cal on 12/22. (We also know Virginia's conference opponents, though the full schedule won't be out until late summer. UVA plays VT, Louisville, Miami, and Clemson twice.)
Looking around the ACC, Maryland will take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a battle between the likely preseason favorites in each league. Louisville heads to Michigan State, to face a Spartan squad that UVA fans would probably love to have received a rematch against (especially in the regular season).
After winning the first 10 Challenges beginning in 1999, the ACC hasn't won since 2008. Since then, two have ended in ties, and the B1G has taken 4, including last season's 8 games to 6 victory. UVA has done its part in past years. The Hoos have won 4 of their past 5 ACC-B1G matchups, all against teams that were ranked in the top 25, or finished the season that way.
Here's a full look at this season's ACC - Big Ten Challenge schedule. We'll update with the times, and TV info when they become available:
Clemson @ Minnesota
Wake Forest @ Rutgers
Maryland @ North Carolina
Virginia @ Ohio State
Michigan @ NC State
Purdue @ Pittsburgh
Northwestern @ Virginia Tech
Miami @ Nebraska
Indiana @ Duke
Louisville @ Michigan State
Notre Dame @ Illinois
Wisconsin @ Syracuse
Florida State @ Iowa
Penn State @ Boston College
Note: Georgia Tech will not participate.