The Washington Post

Virginia basketball to face Wisconsin in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

ESPN announced the matchups for the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday afternoon, and Virginia’s opponent will be a familiar one for Coach Tony Bennett.

For the second year in a row, Virginia will face Wisconsin in a contest that will pit Bennett against his former boss, Badgers Coach Bo Ryan. Last season, the Cavaliers went up to Madison, Wis., and beat Wisconsin, 60-54, in a homecoming for Bennett, whose father, Dick, coached at Wisconsin for seven years and led the Badgers to the Final Four in 2000.

This year’s game will be at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on Dec. 4.

Wisconsin finished the 2012-13 season with a 23-12 record and reached the NCAA tournament for the 15th consecutive season. Virginia posted a 23-12 record and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals.

The Badgers must replace three of their top six scorers from last year’s team, while the Cavaliers return every key contributor except point guard Jontel Evans and shooting guard Paul Jesperson. They will also add South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill and injured guard Malcolm Brogdon to the rotation in 2013.

Virginia’s only other announced nonconference game for next year is at home against Virginia Commonwealth.

For the first time since joining the ACC in 2004, Virginia Tech will not take part in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Because the ACC added Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame for men’s basketball in 2013 and the Big Ten currently has just 12 members, the three ACC teams with the lowest RPI during 2012 were not included in the event.

The last-place Hokies, along with Clemson and Wake Forest, are the ACC members not participating this year. The marquee matchups for the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge include Indiana at Syracuse, Michigan at Duke and North Carolina at Michigan State.

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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