Iowa to meet Clemson in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

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Iowa will play host to Clemson on Nov. 29 in the 13th installment of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Iowa and Clemson have played twice with Iowa winning both times. The teams' last meeting was on Dec. 18, 1981 in Houston, Texas.

The game features second-year coaches Fran McCaffery of Iowa and Clemson's Brad Brownell.

Iowa's game is one of 12 matches in the annual challenge, which now includes Nebraska. The marquee matchups pit Duke at Ohio State and Wisconsin at North Carolina.

Here's Iowa's release:

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa men's basketball team will host Clemson, Nov. 29, as part of the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods

The Big Ten won last season’s Challenge, 6-5.  With Nebraska joining the Big Ten Conference, this year’s Challenge will feature 12 games for the first time.  Game times and television information will be announced at a later date.  ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event.

Iowa is 2-8 in the Challenge after being edged 76-73 on a last second 3-pointer at Wake Forest a year ago in Winston-Salem, N.C.  The Hawkeyes did not take part in the event in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

“It’s going to be exciting hosting an ACC team in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” said Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery.  “Clemson is a talented and athletic basketball team that is well-coached, and has advanced to the last four NCAA tournaments.  We look forward to the challenge of hosting Clemson in November.”

Iowa has only played Clemson twice before, winning both meetings.  The Hawkeyes defeated Clemson 74-64 on Dec. 17, 1962 in Iowa City and 80-68 on Dec. 18, 1981 in the first round of the Kettle Classic in Houston, Texas.  This will mark Clemson’s first-ever game inside Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is 11-23 all-time against ACC schools, while Clemson is 12-14 against current members of the Big Ten Conference.  The Tigers have played every Big Ten school except Michigan State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. 

Clemson is coached by Brad Brownell, who like McCaffery, just completed his first season with his team.  Brownell set a Clemson record for wins by a first-year head coach in 2010-11 when he led the Tigers to a 22-12 overall record.  He guided Clemson to a fourth-place tie with Virginia Tech and Boston College in the ACC with a 9-7 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Clemson beat UAB (70-52) in a “First Four” contest in Dayton, Ohio, to advance to play West Virginia in the second round in Tampa, Fla.  The win over UAB marked the program’s first tournament victory in 14 years.

The Tigers return seven lettermen, including three starters, from last season.  Senior guard Andre Young, who was a third team all-ACC selection, led the team in steals (1.4) and 3-point shooting (80-202, .396), ranked second in assists (3.0) and third in scoring (11.1).  Young also ranked 21st in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (2.55).  Junior forward Devin Booker ranked second on the squad in rebounding (5.5) and fifth in scoring (8.1).  Senior guard Tanner Smith ranked second in team steals (1.3), third in assists (2.8) and sixth in scoring (7.8).  Clemson’s top two players from last season, Demontez Stitt (14.5 ppg and 3.3 apg) and Jerai Grant (12.4 ppg and 6.7 rpg), exhausted their eligibility and will not return in 2011-12.  Clemson led the ACC in scoring defense a year ago, allowing just 61.4 points per game.

Iowa was 11-20 last season and finished tenth in the Big Ten with a 4-14 league record in McCaffery’s first season with the Hawkeyes.  Iowa returns six of its top seven scorers, including its top three scorers: senior Matt Gatens (12.6), sophomore Melsahn Basabe (11.0) and senior Bryce Cartwright (10.9).  Basabe, who is one of 17 players that will attend USA Basketball’s U19 Training Camp next month, was also the team’s top rebounder (6.8), while Cartwright led the squad in assists (5.9).

Iowa and Clemson were two of eight teams that competed in the 2010 Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands this past November, but did not face each other in bracket play.

Clemson is 8-4 in the Challenge, going 4-2 in both home and away contests.  The Tigers have lost their last two Challenge games, both at home.  Clemson lost to Michigan (69-61) last year and Illinois (76-74) in 2009.  This year marks its first Challenge road game since winning at Illinois (76-74) in 2008.

Here's the Big Ten release:

The 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Nov. 29-30 will be highlighted by Duke at Ohio State and Wisconsin at North Carolina -- four traditional power programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2011-12 season – and an expanded format to include newest Big Ten member Nebraska. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event, one more than in the previous 12 Challenges.

The 2011 Challenge involves six teams ranked in an early preseason top 25 by senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, including three in the top five: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 21 Florida State and No. 23 Michigan.

This year’s event – featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup -- will include 11 teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament: Clemson, Duke, Florida State and North Carolina from the ACC, and Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.

The Big Ten won the Commissioner’s Cup for the second consecutive year while the ACC won the previous 10 Challenges. In the event of a 6-6 tie this year, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year.

• Following a First with a Rematch: Georgia Tech and Northwestern will follow the first meeting between the programs (Northwestern, 91-71) with a second consecutive Challenge showdown.

• First Challenge Matchups: nine of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina, No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State, No. 23 Michigan at Virginia, Miami at Purdue, Clemson at Iowa, Indiana at North Carolina State, Penn State at Boston College, Virginia Tech at Minnesota and Wake Forest at Nebraska.

• Four’s a Charm?: Illinois and Maryland will meet for the fourth time in the Challenge.

2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Date Game

Tue, Nov 29

  • Miami at Purdue
  • Northwestern at Georgia Tech
  • Illinois at Maryland
  • No. 23 Michigan at Virginia
  • Clemson at Iowa
  • No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State

Wed, Nov 30

  • Indiana at North Carolina State
  • Penn State on Boston College
  • No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State
  • Virginia Tech at Minnesota
  • Wake Forest at Nebraska
  • No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina

Since 2000, the ACC (10) and the Big Ten (nine) have combined for 19 Final Four appearances and six national titles: North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001 and 2010) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC leads in NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances while the Big Ten is first in Tournament appearances.

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