The Washington Post

Virginia Tech will face Iowa in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The Virginia Tech men’s basketball hasn’t had much success over the years in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but the Hokies will face the one opponent they’ve been able to beat when the 2012 version of the event tips off next season.

Virginia Tech will face Iowa at Cassell Coliseum on Nov. 27, ESPN announced Monday afternoon, the third time the two programs have met since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004. Virginia Tech is 2-5 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, with both wins coming over Iowa in 2006 and 2009.

In last year’s challenge, the Hokies lost at Minnesota, 58-55, in a game that was marred by a controversial back-court violation ruling involving guard Robert Brown. The Big Ten later admitted that the official “misapplied” a rule in the situation.

Under Coach Fran McCaffery, the Hawkeyes advanced to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament, finishing the 2011-12 season with an overall record of 18-17 and 8-10 within the Big Ten. Iowa returns five of its top six scorers, but leading scorer Matt Gatens graduated.

In addition to Iowa, Virginia Tech’s nonconference schedule next season will include an exempt tournament in Las Vegas, a trip to Salt Lake City to face BYU and road games against West Virginia and UNC Greensboro (the ACC tournament is being held at Greensboro Coliseum next year). The Hokies also have home games at Cassell Coliseum against Rhode Island and Oklahoma State.

After winning the ACC/Big Ten Challenge 10 years in a row when the idea was first hatched for the 1999 season, the ACC has seen the Big Ten take the past three competitions, including an 8-4 advantage last season.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.


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