Hokies hitting the road for matchup with Illinois in Big Ten/ACC Women's Basketball Challenge

BLACKSBURG – The pairings for the 2017 Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge were announced Wednesday morning by the ACC. Tech will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign, Illinois on Nov. 30. The meeting will mark just the second time these programs have met, the first coming in the form of a two-point loss for the Hokies during the 1991 season on a neutral court.

The Challenge boasts 14 games between teams in two of the strongest conferences in women’s basketball. During the 2016 season, the ACC was represented by 11 teams in postseason play, including seven in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Ten had four NCAA participants and another four schools competed in the WNIT, with Michigan winning its first WNIT championship.

Tech is coming off consecutive victories in the Challenge, defeating Nebraska 76-67 at Cassell Coliseum in 2016 and knocking off Penn State 64-59 during the 2015 season. Overall, the Hokies have compiled a 6-4 record in the Challenge since its inception in 2007.

The 2016 season saw the Hokies post a 20-win season for the first time since the 2005-06 season in Kenny Brooks’ first campaign in Blacksburg. The team began the season 15-0 behind big wins against Tennessee, Nebraska, Auburn and ACC foe North Carolina. After a tough ACC slate, the Hokies earned a bid into the WNIT field for the second consecutive season. Brooks’ squad won three postseason games before falling to eventual champion Michigan.

In 11 years of this competition, the ACC has won seven Challenge titles and owns a 71-51 record. This year, the event’s contests will take place over a two-day stretch beginning Wednesday, Nov. 29 with a slate of five games.

2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule (television coverage and game times will be announced at a later date)

Wednesday, Nov. 29

· Notre Dame at Michigan

· Wisconsin at Pittsburgh

· Florida State at Iowa

· Maryland at Virginia

· Minnesota at North Carolina

Thursday, Nov. 30

· Wake Forest at Penn State

· Purdue at Georgia Tech

· Northwestern at Syracuse

· Louisville at Indiana

· Virginia Tech at Illinois

· Michigan State at Miami

· Ohio State at Duke

· Clemson at Nebraska

· NC State at Rutgers

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