Nittany Lion Basketball To Face Virginia In Big Ten/ACC Challenge; Play Three Games At The Charleston Classic

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Andrew Jones will be among three returning starters for Penn State.


Andrew Jones will be among three returning starters for Penn State.

April 22, 2009

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 22, 2009 - The Nittany Lion basketball team revealed four dates on its 2009 non-conference schedule Wednesday when pairings for the 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the field for the 2009 Charleston Classic were announced.

Penn State will play the first game of the 11th Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge presented by Dick's Sporting Goods on Monday, Nov. 30 when it takes on Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va. Tip times and television arrangements have yet to be announced. For the fifth consecutive year, the Challenge will feature 11 games and include telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. ESPN360.com, the broadband sports television network from ESPN, will simulcast the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts. The 2009 Big Ten/ACC Challenge is scheduled for Nov. 30 - Dec. 2.

The ACC has won the Commissioner's Cup all 10 years of the competition, claiming a narrow 6-5 victory last year. The Big Ten has come within one victory of winning the competition five times. Since 2000, the ACC (9) and the Big Ten (8) have combined for 17 Final Four appearances and five national titles - North Carolina (2009 and 2005), Maryland (2002), Duke (2001) and Michigan State (2000). The ACC and the Big Ten also rank 1-2, respectively, in all-time NCAA Tournament bids, NCAA Tournament victories and Final Four appearances.

Penn State has won its last two Challenge appearances, posting a victory over Virginia Tech (66-61) at home in 2007 and at Georgia Tech (85-83) in 2008, and is 3-5 in eight previous Challenge appearances.

Virginia will be the fifth different Challenge opponent for the Lions. The Nittany Lions and Cavaliers last met in 1984 with UVA claiming a 66-54 victory at the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans. The Cavaliers own a 5-2 lead in the series, which began in 1972. Penn State has played three games in Charlottesville, the last in 1978, and is 0-3 in those games. Penn State last downed the Cavaliers with a 93-68 victory in Rec Hall in 1973.

 

 

Virginia posted a 10-18 record last season. The Cavaliers will be under the direction of first-year coach Tony Bennett. Virginia lost at Minnesota 66-56 in last season's Big Ten/ACC Challenge and have a 5-4 record in Challenge games.

Other Challenge games scheduled for Dec. 1 include Maryland at Indiana, Michigan State at North Carolina, Northwestern at NC State, Virginia Tech at Iowa and Wake Forest at Purdue. On Dec. 2, the schedule includes Boston College at Michigan, Duke at Wisconsin, Florida State at Ohio State, Illinois at Clemson and Minnesota at Miami.

Penn State will also be among the eight-team field for the 2009 Charleston Classic, to be held Nov. 19-22 at Carolina First Arena in Charleston, S.C. The field for the second annual Charleston Classic, produced by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, will include representatives from the Big Ten, ACC, Big East, and SEC. Penn State, Miami (Fla.), South Florida, South Carolina, LaSalle, UNC Wilmington, and Tulane will all compete. The eighth team will be announced at a later date. Three of the teams in the field played in the 2008-09 NIT, including NIT champion Penn State, Miami and South Carolina.

"We're excited to bring another stellar field of teams to the great destination city of Charleston," said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. "We look forward to bringing these teams together for college basketball in such an incredible setting and giving the student-athletes, their coaches and staffs, as well as the fans a great and memorable experience."

The 2009 Charleston Classic, a bracket-format tournament, will feature 12 games in three days, Nov. 19, 20 and 22. The Southern Conference (SoCon) will serve as the event's sponsoring conference for the second straight year. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 22.

In the inaugural Charleston Classic in 2008, Clemson defeated Temple, 76-72, in the championship game.

Fans can purchase travel packages to the tournament by going to www.anthonytravel.com (search Charleston) or calling 1-800-632-6951. Additional information can be found on the Charleston Classic's official Web site at www.CharlestonClassic.com.

-NITTANY LIONS-

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