Ohio State will soon often encounter Maryland when the two become conference foes in 2014, but the Buckeyes drew the Terrapins in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, an annual two-day event set to begin on Dec. 3.
The 15th-annaul Challenge will include 14 teams between the two conferences that played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and seven of the 12 games in the event will feature first-time Challenge matchups.
“We are looking forward to having the University of Maryland on our campus this year in the Challenge," OSU head coach Thad Matta said. "The game will give fans of both programs a glimpse at what the series will look like when the Terrapins join the Big Ten in 2014-15.”
This year’s Challenge is expected to be as competitive as ever because it features eight teams that are in the ESPN.com early preseason top 25: No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 9 Michigan, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 20 Indiana and No. 25 Iowa.
Three of the Challenge games will feature ranked teams against each other in the matchups of Michigan at Duke, North Carolina and Michigan State and Indiana at Syracuse.
The rest of the matchups are Dec. 3 games of Notre Dame at Iowa, Florida State at Minnesota, Penn State at Pittsburgh, Illinois at Georgia Tech and Dec. 4 games of Miami (Fla.) at Nebraska, Wisconsin at Virginia, Boston College at Purdue and Northwestern at N.C. State.
Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse – the ACC’s three newest members – will take part in the Challenge. Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will not.
The ACC holds a 10-3-1 advantage in the Challenge’s history after winning the first 10 events from 1999-2008, but the Big Ten won the next three from 2009-11. The Challenge’s single draw happened in a 6-6 tie last season.
Ohio State’s has posted a 5-6 record in 11 years participating in the event, while Matta has guided the Buckeyes to a 5-4 record in his first nine years guiding the program. Matta has won four his last five Big Ten/ACC Challenge games, but OSU lost to Duke 73-68 in Cameron Indoor Stadium in the 2012 Challenge.
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