Sports

Maryland, UNC to meet in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is surrounded by his players after Duke beat St. John's 77-68 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. It was Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career win and one of the last times guard Rasheed Sulaimon wore a Blue Devils uniform. Sulaimon is now with the Maryland Terrapins.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is surrounded by his players after Duke beat St. John's 77-68 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. It was Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career win and one of the last times guard Rasheed Sulaimon wore a Blue Devils uniform. Sulaimon is now with the Maryland Terrapins. cliddy@newsobserver.com

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.

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.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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

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