Michigan basketball team will face Virginia in annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge
CHICAGO — The Michigan basketball team hoped for a home game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Last month, the Wolverines found out they'll go on the road.
On Tuesday, the opponent was revealed: Virginia
Michigan will play the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Nov. 29. It's the fourth time the program have met - although for the first time since an NCAA tournament game in 1989, which the Wolverines won, 102-65.
Michigan is 2-1 all-time against Virginia and two of the three meetings have been in the postseason. The Wolverines lost to Virginia in the 1980 NIT quarterfinals, 79-68.
The only other meeting came in Pittsburgh in 1951.
The Challenge change messed with the Wolverines’ scheduling plans as well, something Michigan coach John Beilein is dealing with.
“One of the big challenge is trying to find enough non-conference games,” Beilein said. “That’s still our battle. When you move into December 27th, when your first game may be, there’s no time, and you don’t know your bye date until so late that it makes it very hard to schedule.”
Michigan had been counting on playing a high-caliber ACC team in Crisler Arena. Instead, the Wolverines will travel for the second straight year. Michigan is 4-6 all-time in the Challenge, including a 69-61 win at Clemson last year.
Beilein said Monday that Michigan is close to agreeing to a game with at least one high-major team for a marquee non-conference game.
“We don’t have a signed contract yet, but we’re closer,” Beilein said. “And we’re still looking for one more if we can get it.
“We might not be able to get it. When the Big 12 went to 18 games, there’s 10 teams but that’s 18 games that are gone. You can’t play Kansas now because they don’t have that extra game, two games.”
One thing finally known is the Big Ten Conference scheduling setup. Indiana coach Tom Crean said Monday schools will play seven schools home-and-home and then four teams one time, two and home and two on the road.
“I looked through it today, looked at ours and a little deeper at everybody else’s and there is always somebody on paper that you can say ‘It’ll be a little bit easier for them or a little bit harder for them or us,’ but that’s just the way that it is,” Crean said. “It all balances out in the end.”
Crean said he has only seen the schedule for the 2011-12 season. Single-plays for each team have not been announced.