2021 Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge matchups announced
The matchups for the 14th Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge were announced Tuesday.
The annual challenge, which was not played in 2020, returns this fall and offers 14 high-quality matchups for the seventh time.
The Challenge takes place over two days in early December, beginning Wednesday, Dec. 1, with six matchups as ACC schools Pitt, Syracuse and Wake Forest play host to Big Ten programs, while Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia Tech travel to Big Ten sites. The following night (Thursday, Dec. 2) features the remaining eight games of the Challenge as Boston College, Clemson, Duke and Louisville serve as the ACC host schools, while Florida State, Miami, NC State and Notre Dame play at Big Ten sites.
Game times, as well as television and streaming coverage, will be announced at a later date. All ACC home games in the Challenge will be shown on either ACC Network (ACCN), ACC Network Extra (ACCNX) or an ESPN network, while Big Ten home games will appear on either Big Ten Network, Big Ten Network+ or an ESPN network.
The ACC owns a 9-1-3 all-time advantage in the Challenge, headlined by three outright titles in the last four years the event has been held. Additionally, the ACC stands a collective 94-70 against the Big Ten in the Challenge.
Twelve teams from the two conferences appear in ESPN’s 2021-22 Way-Too-Early Top 25, including six from each league. No. 6 Louisville leads the way for the ACC, followed by No. 8 NC State, No. 17 Florida State, No. 20 Georgia Tech, No. 23 Virginia Tech and No. 24 Notre Dame. Maryland headlines the Big Ten rankings at No. 5 and is joined by No. 7 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa, No. 11 Michigan, No. 13 Ohio State and No. 21 Michigan State.
The 2021 Big Ten/ACC Challenge slate is highlighted by three matchups between ranked teams in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25, as sixth-ranked Louisville hosts No. 11 Michigan, No. 8 NC State travels to No. 7 Indiana in a rematch of the 2021 NCAA Sweet 16 contest between the programs, and 24th-ranked Notre Dame heads to No. 21 Michigan State.
Eight ACC women’s basketball teams were selected to compete in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which was the most of any conference. It marked the third consecutive NCAA Tournament in which the ACC has had eight teams selected, leading all conferences each year, and matching the ACC record for teams in the field (2014-15, 2018-19).
The ACC placed three teams in the Sweet 16 and is the only conference to have at least three teams in the regional semifinals in each of the last seven NCAA Tournaments.
The Big Ten and ACC have been among the most competitive conferences on the national women’s basketball landscape for many years, combining to send 17 schools to postseason play in 2020-21.
2021 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups
Wednesday, Dec. 1
- North Carolina @ Minnesota
- Nebraska @ Wake Forest
- Ohio State @ Syracuse
- Georgia Tech @ Purdue
- Rutgers @ Pittsburgh
- Virginia Tech @ Wisconsin
Thursday, Dec. 2
- Florida State @ Illinois
- NC State @ Indiana
- Iowa @ Duke
- Miami @ Maryland
- Michigan @ Louisville
- Notre Dame @ Michigan State
- Northwestern @ Clemson
- Penn State @ Boston College