The University of Louisville men’s basketball team will face Michigan State in the 20th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge in the KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 27. The tipoff time and television network will be announced at a later date.
Ranked fifth nationally in the final Associated Press poll last season, Michigan State produced the fourth-most victories in school history during the 2017-18 season with a 30-5 overall record. The Spartans advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Ten Conference Regular Season Championship with a 16-2 league mark. Three of its five starters return including 6-0 junior guard Cassius Winston (12.6 ppg, 6.9 apg), 6-8 junior forward Nick Ward (12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and 6-5 junior guard Joshua Langford (11.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
Louisville has split its four previous challenge events since joining the ACC. The Cardinals beat No. 14 Ohio State 64-55 in Louisville in the 2015 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, fell 71-67 at No. 3 Michigan State in 2015 in the last meeting between the two teams, prevailed 71-64 over No. 15 Purdue in Louisville in 2016 and lost 66-57 at Purdue in 2017.
UofL and Michigan State are tied 5-5 in all-time matchups, dating back to 1959. It will be the first time the Spartans have visited Louisville since 1995, when the Cardinals won 79-59 in Freedom Hall. Michigan State is ninth in Myron Metcalf’s ESPN.com way-too-early preseason top 25 ranking.
Louisville will be entering a new era this season under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Mack, who guided Xavier to a 215-97 and eight NCAA Tournament appearances in nine seasons with the Musketeers. Last season, the Cardinals posted a 22-14 record and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament. Louisville is one of just three Power 5 schools that have received an Academic Performance Rate Public Recognition Award in each of the last six years, including posting a perfect score four of the last five years.
Nine ACC and four Big Ten teams in this year’s Challenge competed in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship: Final Four team Michigan, Elite Eight teams Duke and Florida State, Sweet 16 teams Clemson, Purdue, Syracuse, as well as early-round teams Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, NC State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise the entire 2018 event, matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioner’s Cup. All games will also be available via the ESPN app.
2018 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule:
Monday, November 26
Minnesota at Boston College
Nebraska at Clemson
Tuesday, November 27
Indiana at Duke
Michigan State at Louisville
NC State at Wisconsin
Illinois at Notre Dame
Pitt at Iowa
Virginia Tech at Penn State
Wednesday, November 28
Purdue at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Northwestern
Rutgers at Miami (Fla.)
North Carolina at Michigan
Syracuse at Ohio State
Virginia at Maryland
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