May 22, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Big Ten Conference, in conjunction with the ACC, released the matchups for the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday. The Michigan State women's basketball team will travel to NC State on Thursday, Nov. 29 in the sixth-annual event. Game times and broadcast assignments will be announced at a later date.
"We always look forward to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and this year's opponent presents a great match up for us," said MSU head coach Suzy Merchant. "NC State and head coach Kellie Harper have a quality team coming back and will be a challenging road team in our non-conference schedule."
The Spartans are 3-2 all-time in the Challenge, just one of two Big Ten schools with a winning record. MSU won its inaugural contest, 68-51 over Clemson at the Breslin Center in 2007, but fell in 2008 at Georgia Tech, 70-57. In 2009, Michigan State upset then-No. 4 North Carolina 72-66 in East Lansing, and followed it up with a come-from-behind upset at No. 15 Florida State, 72-64 in 2010. Last year, MSU lost to No. 9 Miami 76-60 at Breslin.
Last year, the Big Ten and ACC battled to a 6-6 draw, the first tie in the Challenge's history.
The Spartans and Wolfpack will meet for the second time. MSU won the first meeting, 58-57 on April 2, 2008 in the WNIT semifinals in East Lansing.
Michigan State is coming off its 11th straight postseason appearance and ninth consecutive 20-win season. The Spartans went 20-11 overall and finished in a tie for second in the Big Ten at 11-5. MSU earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row, but fell in the first round to No. 19 Louisville.
For the second-straight season, the Spartans graduate three starters, but return a wealth of young talent, including five players who started a game last season. In addition, MSU welcomes a top-25 recruiting class, and returns two key players (Madison Williams, Akyah Taylor) who missed the majority of last season due to injury.
NC State went 19-16 last season and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. The Wolfpack finished ninth in the ACC at 5-11. Entering the 2012-13 season, they lose two starters, but return five of their top six scorers from last season, including leading scorer Marissa Kastanek, who was an honorable mention All-ACC selection.
Wednesday, November 28
Ohio State at North Carolina
Iowa at Florida State
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech
Duke at Michigan
Maryland at Nebraska
Georgia Tech at Purdue
Clemson at Indiana
Northwestern at Boston College
Thursday, November 29
Penn State at Miami
Michigan State at NC State
Virginia at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Illinois