One piece of Nebraska’s 2013-14 home schedule was revealed Wednesday afternoon, as the pairings of the ACC/ Big Ten Challenge were announced. Nebraska will host defending ACC champion Miami at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, the second night of the two-day event between the conferences. Start time and television information will be announced at a later date.
The Hurricanes went 29-7 last season, winning both the regular season and tournament titles for the first time in program history before falling to Marquette in the Sweet 16. Under National Coach of the Year Jim Larrañaga, the Hurricanes reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in NCAA history.
Miami is 2-4 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, including a 67-59 win over Michigan State last season. Nebraska is 1-1 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchups following a 79-63 win at Wake Forest last November in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Dec. 4 matchup will be the first between the two programs since an 82-67 Husker win on Dec. 30, 2006. The Huskers have won the last three meetings in the series, including the only matchup in Lincoln, an 85-58 win on Dec. 18, 1970, which took place at the NU Coliseum. This season, the Huskers will open Pinnacle Bank Arena, a 15,147-seat facility located blocks from campus in the Haymarket District of Lincoln. The entire arena was pre-sold for the first time ever with the announcement coming on May 3, that all season tickets for the upcoming season were accounted for.
While Miami looks to replace it starting five from last season, second-year Nebraska Coach Tim Miles returns three starters from a team that went 15-18 in his first season, including guard Ray Gallegos and forwards David Rivers and Shavon Shields. Gallegos, who averaged 12.5 ppg in 2012-13, led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game and ranked second in school history with 83 3-pointers, while Shields averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a true freshman. Rivers started NU’s final 17 games and averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In all, 10 letterwinners return for the Huskers in 2013-14, while seven newcomers, including three scholarship redshirts, will suit up for the Scarlet and Cream this season.
With today’s announcement, Miami is the third NCAA Sweet 16 team already on the Huskers 2013-14 schedule as two of the Huskers’ Big Ten single-play opponents in 2012-13, defending Big Ten champion Indiana and NCAA runner-up Michigan, will also play in Lincoln this season.
The Big Ten and the ACC split the 12 meetings in 2012, but the Big Ten held on to the Commissioner’s Cup after posting wins in the previous three years. The ACC leads the all-time series 10-3-1. Since 2000, the Big Ten and ACC have combined for 20 Final Four appearances and six national titles.