May 8, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State will host North Carolina in the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, December 4. The two teams are meeting for the fifth time in the challenge history, making UNC MSU's most played opponent in the 15-year history of the challenge.
"We are very excited to be hosting North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge," MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo said. "The atmosphere at the Breslin Center was great last year, and I know the fans love to watch the marquee non-conference games at home. To have the opportunity to host a potential Top-10 matchup in December is something special, and we look forward to continuing to bring these top programs into Breslin."
This year's contest will be one of the top non-conference matchups of the college basketball season. Michigan State (SI.com-2, USA Today-2, CBSSports.com-3, ESPN.com-3,) and North Carolina (CBSSports.com-8, SI.com-9, USA Today-11, ESPN.com-11) are both highly ranked in the early preseason polls, which could possibly result in the third Top-10 matchup at Breslin Center in the calendar year, as MSU hosted Michigan and Indiana in Top-10 showdowns last February.
The Spartans return four starters and six of their top seven scorers from last season, including All-Big Ten second-team honorees Keith Appling (13.4 ppg, 3.3 apg), Gary Harris (12.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and Adreian Payne (10.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg). MSU finished the season with a 27-9 mark and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven seasons. North Carolina returns three starters from last year's 25-11 squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, including P.J. Hairston (14.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), James Michael McAdoo (14.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Marcus Paige (8.2 ppg, 4.6 apg).
Overall, MSU is 6-7 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge history, including a 5-1 mark at home. This game, however, will mark just the second home game in the challenge for MSU since hosting North Carolina State in 2007.
The Spartans and Tar Heels have split the four challenge games. No. 8 Michigan State won at No. 2 North Carolina in the inaugural challenge in 1999, defeating the Tar Heels, 86-76, behind 31 points from Morris Peterson, handing UNC its first loss in a home opener since 1928. The following year, No. 3 MSU defeated No. 6 UNC, 77-64, at in a Top-10 showdown at Breslin Center.
The two teams met again in the 2008 challenge as No. 1 UNC defeated No. 13 MSU, 98-63, at Detroit's Ford Field, in what turned out to be a preview of the 2009 title game at the same venue. Eight months after the championship game, the two teams met again in Chapel Hill with the No. 10 Tar Heels holding on for an 89-82 victory over the ninth-ranked Spartans.
Overall, North Carolina leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 11-3. This will be the 11th meeting between MSU and UNC during Tom Izzo's coaching career. In fact, this will be the seventh meeting since the two teams met in the 2005 Final Four.
Last season, the Big Ten and ACC split the challenge with six wins each. Before last year, the Big Ten had won three straight challenges (2009-11), following the ACC winning the challenge in each of the first 10 seasons. (1999-2008).
MSU in Big Ten/ACC Challenge History
1999 - MSU 86, North Carolina 76 - Chapel Hill, N.C.
2000 - MSU 77, North Carolina 64 - East Lansing
2001 - MSU, Virginia - Cancelled - Charlottesville, Va.
2002 - MSU 82, Virginia 75 - East Lansing
2003 - Duke 72, MSU 50 - East Lansing
2004 - Duke 81, MSU 74 - Durham, N.C.
2005 - MSU 88, Georgia Tech 86 - East Lansing
2006 - Boston College 65, MSU 58 - Chestnut Hill, Mass.
2007 - MSU 81, North Carolina State 58 - East Lansing
2008 - North Carolina 98, MSU 63 - Detroit
2009 - North Carolina 89, MSU 82 - Chapel Hill, N.C.
2010 - Duke 84, MSU 79 - Durham, N.C.
2011 - MSU 65, Florida State 49 - East Lansing
2012 - Miami 67, MSU 59 - Coral Gables, Fla.
2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule*
Tuesday, Dec. 3
Florida State at Minnesota
Illinois at Georgia Tech
Indiana at Syracuse
Michigan at Duke
Notre Dame at Iowa
Penn State at Pittsburgh
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Boston College at Purdue
Maryland at Ohio State
Miami, FL at Nebraska
North Carolina at Michigan State
Northwestern at North Carolina State
Wisconsin at Virginia
* Times and networks to be announced at a later date.