2004 Big Ten -ACC Challenge
June 9, 2004Bloomington, Ind.- A matchup between two of the nation's most storied college basketball programs headlines the sixth annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Indiana will host North Carolina on Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. at Branch McCracken Court at Assembly Hall in a game that will be televised by ESPN. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the nine-game Challenge Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29 through December 1, from nine different college campuses. It will mark the third consecutive year that every game will be televised nationally in a three-day schedule.
Indiana and North Carolina have combined to win eight national championships, as the Hoosiers' five titles ranks third all-time, just ahead of the Tar Heels and Duke (tied for fourth with three titles each). IU holds a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series between the two programs, including four victories in the last five meetings. This is the second time that Indiana and North Carolina have met in The Big Ten-ACC Challenge. On Nov. 28, 2001, A.J. Moye scored 20 points to lead Indiana to a 79-66 victory at North Carolina.
Overall, Indiana is 2-1 in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, while North Carolina is 1-4. Indiana made its Challenge debut at North Carolina and followed that with an 80-74 overtime victory over defending national champion Maryland in the 2002 event at Conseco Fieldhouse. Last season, Wake Forest handed the Hoosiers a 100-67 setback. North Carolina lost its first four Challenge appearances before defeating Illinois, 88-81 last year in Greensboro.
This marks the fourth straight year that Indiana's Challenge opponent finished the previous season ranked among the nation's top 25 teams. And with three returning starters, nine returning letterwinners and one of the nation's top recruiting classes set to arrive in Bloomington later this summer, Hoosier coach Mike Davis cannot wait to get started.
"I am pleased with what our guys have been doing this spring and summer," Davis said. "They're intense and working hard in the weight room, and the attitude has been great. We learned so much last season, but now that is behind us, and we're ready to move forward.
"We have a lot of respect for Coach (Roy) Williams and the whole North Carolina program," Davis continued. "Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants are, without a doubt, three of the best players in the country. And then, you have (Jawad) Williams, Melvin Scott, and Jackie Manuel, along with the guys that they signed. They are going to be really good."
The Hoosiers boast considerable depth as well, led by junior guard Bracey Wright. An NABC First-Team All-District 10 and All-Big Ten Second-Team selection as a sophomore, Wright became the 39th member of Indiana's 1,000 career point club when he scored 20 points against Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on March 11. Wright is the 10th player to achieve this feat in 60 games or less, and he is currently 38th on the all-time list with 1,022 career points and ninth on the Hoosiers' career three-pointers list with 136.
Wright's classmate and backcourt mate Marshall Strickland, the team's second-leading scorer (10.8 ppg.) also returns, and forward Sean Kline is making a strong recovery from knee surgery that sidelined him for the last four weeks of the season. Seniors Mark Johnson and Ryan Tapak, who each turned in strong performances at the Big Ten Tournament, will also provide experience and leadership.
Monday, Nov. 29
7 p.m. -- ESPN2 -- Purdue at N.C. State
Tuesday, Nov. 30
7 p.m. -- ESPN -- Michigan at Georgia Tech
7:30 p.m. -- ESPN2 -- Florida State at Minnesota
9 p.m. -- ESPN -- Michigan State at Duke
9:30 p.m. -- ESPN2 -- Maryland at Wisconsin
Wednesday, Dec. 1
7 p.m. -- ESPN -- Wake Forest at Illinois
7:30 p.m. -- ESPN2 -- Ohio State at Clemson
9 p.m. -- ESPN -- North Carolina at Indiana
9:30 p.m. -- ESPN2 -- Virginia at Northwestern
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