Following the record-breaking 2006-07 season, the UW men's basketball team arguably drew its biggest name opponent ever for next season: Duke. The first-ever meeting between Duke and Wisconsin will be on Nov. 27 as the Badgers travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., as part of the ninth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, according to a release from the Atlantic Coast Conference's website. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and will start at 8 p.m. In the eight-year history of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, UW is 3-5. Its wins came against Florida State this past season and Maryland in 2004 and 2000, while Wisconsin's losses have come to Wake Forest (1999, 2002 and 2005), Georgia Tech (2001) and Maryland (2003). Duke, on the other hand, is the only unbeaten team in the challenge at 8-0, having defeated Illinois (1999 and 2000), Iowa (2001), Ohio State (2002), Michigan State (2003 and 2004) and Indiana (2005 and 2006). Like the Blue Devils, the ACC is undefeated. It has won the challenge each year since its inaugural season in 1999. Of the 75 games played, ACC teams have won 48. Other notable games in the 2007 ACC/Big Ten Challenge include rematches from last season: North Carolina-Ohio State and Illinois-Maryland. In addition to the Wisconsin-Duke game, next season's challenge will include several other first-time matchups including Georgia Tech at Indiana, Wake Forest at Iowa, Boston College at Michigan, North Carolina State at Michigan State and Virginia Tech at Penn State. Despite the Big Ten's losing record in the challenge (Michigan State is the only conference team with a winning record), both conferences have historically been two of the strongest nationally. The ACC (.642) and the Big Ten (.616) are the two winningest conferences in NCAA tournament history. Plus, the two conferences have combined to make 14 Final Four appearances since 2000 and have captured four of the last eight NCAA championships. In 2005, ESPN, the ACC and the Big Ten reached a six-year agreement (through 2010) to continue their annual inter-conference challenge.
JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photo