June 4, 2014
The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team will take on NC State on the road in the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, the conferences announced Wednesday. The contest is set for Wednesday, Dec. 3, at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. Game time has not been determined.
The meeting between the Gophers and the Wolfpack will be the fifth all-time and the first in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Minnesota trails NC State in the all-time series, 1-3, with its lone win coming on Nov. 27, 2010, a 71-67 victory at the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nevada.
Minnesota returns four of its top five scorers, including WBCA All-America Honorable Mention selections Rachel Banham (22.1 ppg) and Amanda Zahui B. (15.1 ppg), from a team that posted a 22-13 overall record, an 8-8 Big Ten record and made it to the third round of the WNIT last season. The team's overall record was its best since 2004-05, while its Big Ten record was its best since the 2008-09 season.
NC State is coming off a 2013-14 season in which it posted a 25-8 overall record and an 11-5 ACC mark. The Wolfpack also made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to BYU in the opening round.
The Gophers are 3-4 overall in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which includes a 1-1 record on the road and a 2-3 record at Williams Arena.
The annual challenge is in its eighth edition and will feature 14 matchups for the first time. In last year’s challenge, the ACC earned a narrow 7-5 victory over the Big Ten, with the Gophers, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin each claiming victories.
The ACC and Big Ten conference offices determine the schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge rotates each year. The 2014 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the two conferences' Challenge agreement for men's basketball.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most competitive conferences on the women's basketball scene. Last season, the Big Ten sent nine teams to postseason play, tied for the most in conference history, and matched a Big Ten record with 15 combined tournament triumphs. At least one conference team has appeared in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 28 of the last 30 years.
Last season, the ACC was represented by nine overall postseason squads, including an ACC-record eight teams in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. The eight teams in the tournament marked the 20th consecutive season at least four ACC teams have been selected to the field.
Game times, as well as television and broadband coverage, will be announced at a later date.
2014 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, December 3
Maryland at Notre Dame (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Indiana at Boston College
Minnesota at NC State
Florida State at Purdue
Duke at Nebraska
Wake Forest at Michigan
Virginia at Illinois
Pittsburgh at Ohio State
Thursday, December 4
Iowa at Louisville
Penn State at Syracuse
Northwestern at Virginia Tech
Wisconsin at Miami
North Carolina at Rutgers
Georgia Tech at Michigan State
Introducing: Taiye Bello
The freshman from Michigan has enjoyed her summer in another of the Great Lakes states.
Introducing: Gadiva Hubbard
The Viginia native is feeling at home in the Twin Cities during her first summer on campus.
WNBA Update - July 13
Rachel Banham's season is unfortunately done, but the other three Gophers in the league have been making headlines.