Cards to Get Purdue in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Rick Pitino. Photo by Bill Brymer

from U of L

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team will face Purdue for the second straight year in the 2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.  Dates, times and television will be announced later.

Ranked 15th nationally in the final Associated Press and USA Today polls last season, Purdue achieved a 27-8 record, won its 23rd Big Ten regular-season championship and reached the NCAA Tournament where it fell to Kansas in the Midwest Region semifinal.  Six of its top seven scorers return, led by 6-8 senior forward Vincent Edwards (12.6 ppg, 4.9 apg), 7-2 senior center Isaac Haas (12.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-0 sophomore guard Carsen Edwards (10. ppg).

The teams met in last year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge when Louisville prevailed over then No. 15 Purdue 71-64 in the KFC Yum Center (12–30-16) as Ray Spalding (11 points, nine rebounds) and Mangok Mathiang (11 points, eight rebounds) led a balanced UofL effort.  Louisville has won two of its three previous challenge events since joining the ACC.  The Cardinals fell 71-67 at No. 3 Michigan State in 2014 and beat No. 14 Ohio State 64-55 in Louisville in 2015.

Purdue has an 11-6 all-time series advantage over Louisville, winning three of the last four matchups. The Cardinals last visited West Lafayette in 1987, falling 88-73 to the Boilermakers (1-18-87).

Louisville has received attention among many early top 25 rankings for next season.  Last season, the Cardinals posted a 25-9 record, tied for second in the ACC and earned a No. 10 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.  UofL is one of just four teams that have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons.  The Cardinals have received an Academic Performance Rate Public Recognition Award each of the last five years, including posting a perfect score the last four years.

The matchups for the 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, to be played in late November, the reigning NCAA national champions, is among the participants in this year’s event. The Challenge matches all 14 Big Ten teams against all but one ACC member. Dates, network assignments and tip times will be announced at a later date.  ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event, with all games also available to stream via the ESPN app.

Seven teams are ranked in Myron Metcalf’s way-too-early preseason top 25 poll: No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Duke, No. 7 North Carolina, No. 10 Louisville, No. 12 Miami, No. 20 Northwestern and No. 21 Notre Dame.  Fifteen teams competed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including nine from the ACC: NCAA champion North Carolina; Sweet 16 teams Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, as well as early-round participants Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule

Northwestern at Georgia Tech

Duke at Indiana

Notre Dame at Michigan State

Miami at Minnesota

Penn State at NC State

Boston College at Nebraska

Michigan at North Carolina

Clemson at Ohio State

Louisville at Purdue

Florida State at Rutgers

Maryland at Syracuse

Wisconsin at Virginia

Iowa at Virginia Tech

Illinois at Wake Forest