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May 17, 2011

UW to play UNC in challenge

MADISON - For those that have had pipe dreams of watching Jordan Taylor square off with Harrison Barnes in a battle of two of the nations elite point guards, make sure to leave your calendar open when Nov. 30th rolls around.

The Wisconsin Badgers have drawn North Carolina in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge presented by Dick's Sporting Goods. It will be the first time the two teams have met since a thrilling Elite Eight match up in 2005, the schools only previous meeting and will be aired on the ESPN family of networks. No tip time has been determined yet.

The game will also mark the first time the Badgers have traveled to the Dean Smith Center, better known as the Dean Dome. It should also feature two of the nation's premier teams.

Andy Katz, with ESPN.com, has UNC ranked No. 1 in his very early preseason poll and Wisconsin at No. 11. The Tar Heels are fresh off a 2011 ACC championship, a 29-8 overall record and a trip to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight.

Bo Ryan's Badgers finished last season with a 25-9 record before getting bounced in the Sweet 16 by Butler, a team that eventually went on to lose the national championship game to Connecticut.

The Big Ten, who hadn't won a Big Ten/ACC Challenge until 2009, is in the midst of a two-challenge winning streak. Wisconsin, though, is one of the teams that has faired particularly well in the event and against ACC teams in general. UW is currently riding a six-game winning streak against ACC teams, including an 87-48 pasting of NC State in last season's event.

With Nebraska now in the Big Ten, each member of each conference will play. It used to be that one ACC team had to sit out the event because there were only 11 members of the Big Ten.

The event is scheduled to start Tuesday, Nov. 29th with the following games: Miami at Purdue, Northwestern at Georgia Tech, Illinois at Maryland, No. 23 Michigan at Virginia, Clemson at Iowa and No. 5 Duke at No. 3 Ohio State.

Wednesday's slate of games are set to including the following: Indiana at N.C. State, Penn State at Boston College, No. 21 Florida State at Michigan State, Virginia Tech at Minnesota, Wake Forest at Nebraska and No. 11 Wisconsin at No. 1 North Carolina.

The Badgers own a 6-6 mark all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, a record that is tops in the Big Ten.




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