The matchups for the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge have been set. Virginia Tech will host Wisconsin on Monday, December 1 in the first game of the event. It is the only game of the challenge scheduled for December 1. The rest of the games are on December 2 and December 3.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Hokies and Badgers. Wisconsin has developed into a fixture in the NCAA tournament under the leadership of head coach Bo Ryan. This past season they won a school record 31 games, won the Big Ten Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 before being eliminated by Davidson.
The Badgers have won 61 games over the past two seasons, fifth-most in the nation. They have made 10 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. They are among the most stable programs in the country, and are used to playing in big games.
Wisconsin loses two of their best players in Brian Butch and Michael Flowers. Butch led the team in scoring (12.4) and rebounding (6.6). Flowers averaged 9.6 points per game and was regarded as an excellent defender. He also shot 41.2% from three-point range, and led the team in assists with 97. The Badgers also lose the services of 6-11 reserve center Gary Stiemsma, who led the team with 40 blocked shots.
Wisconsin does return 6-0 guard Trevon Hughes, the team’s second leading scorer at 11.2 points per game. Starters Marcus Landry (10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Joe Krabbenhoft (7.6 points, 6.5 rebounds) also return.
The ACC is 33-4 in home games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Hokies are 1-2 in the event, with losses on the road to Ohio State and Penn State, and a 69-65 win over Iowa in Cassell Coliseum back on November 29, 2005.
Time and television coverage have yet to be announced, but the game will air nationally on the ESPN family of networks, most likely ESPN or ESPN2.