MSU To Host North Carolina In Big Ten/ACC Challenge
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
2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule*
Wednesday, Dec. 4
* Times and networks to be announced at a later date.
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