The ACC-Big Ten Challenge will not produce a reunion between Duke and Rasheed Sulaimon, but the exiled Duke guard will get another crack at North Carolina.
In the pairings for the made-for-TV event announced Wednesday, the Tar Heels will host Maryland, Sulaimon's new team, in the Challenge.
Sulaimon, the first player in coach Mike Krzyzewski's 35 seasons to be thrown off a Duke team, decided earlier in the week to graduate from Duke this summer and transfer to Maryland. As a graduate transfer, Sulaimon will be eligible to play immediately for the Terrapins, who are projected to be one of the top teams in the Big Ten in their second year in the new conference after jumping from the ACC.
Sulaimon averaged 9.6 points per game over three seasons at Duke. The Terps return sophomore point guard Melo Trimble and add promising freshman forward Diamond Stone to a 28-win team.
Never miss a local story.
The Tar Heels, who will be one of the favorites in the ACC next season, will host the Terps on Dec. 1 at the Smith Center, in the second day of the three-day event.
Duke, the 2015 national champions, will host Indiana on Dec. 2. Duke (14-2 in the event) has won more Challenge games than any team from either conference.
N.C. State faces Michigan in Raleigh on Dec. 1 in a rematch of a Challenge game won by the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 2012.
Georgia Tech is the lone ACC team that will not participate in the Challenge. Some of the highlights, and lowlights, from the ESPN-driven extravaganza:
No Sparty trilogy
Michigan State has eliminated Virginia from the NCAA tournament in each of the past two years. For the second straight year, ESPN passed on a rematch in the Challenge.
Instead, the Cavaliers will travel to Ohio State, which will be in the early stages of figuring out life without D'Angelo Russell, and the Spartans will host Louisville.
To ESPN's credit, the Michigan State-Louisville game is a rematch of this year’s Final Eight, a game won by the Spartans.
No championship rematch
The politics of the Challenge can be both funky and fickle. A Duke-Wisconsin rematch would seem to be a no-brainer, alas, Duke gets Indiana and the Badgers will travel to Syracuse.
The Orange will be more of a sideshow next season, with Jim Boeheim set to serve a nine-game suspension when conference play begins for NCAA transgressions, than a viable threat in the conference race.
Participation ribbons all around
Virginia Tech finished in last place last season, but the Hokies were in the basement and out of the Challenge last year, too. The powers that be – apparently not fans of English soccer – have it set up that you can't sit out two years in a row.
So Virginia Tech will slog it out with Northwestern, and Georgia Tech, the 14th-place team last season, will watch from home.
Going for two
In honor of former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne all baskets will count as two points (OK, not really).
But this is not a great draw for Miami, which should be one of the better teams in the ACC and could have used an out-of-league boost.
ACC-Big Ten Challenge
Times announced later.
Mon., Nov. 30
Clemson at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Rutgers
Tue., Dec. 1
Maryland at North Carolina
Michigan at NC State
Virginia at Ohio State
Purdue at Pittsburgh
Northwestern at Virginia Tech
Miami at Nebraska
Wed., Dec. 2
Indiana at Duke
Louisville at Michigan State
Notre Dame at Illinois
Wisconsin at Syracuse
Florida State at Iowa
Penn State at Boston College