After what I think might have been the longest layoff between posts in the history of the Scoop, what better way to get things back rolling than the announcement that the Big Ten will once again get pounded in this annual made-for-TV event.
The Hoosiers will face Wake Forest.
Here’s the full release from the Big Ten:
Tenth Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Matchups
North Carolina vs. Michigan State at Ford Field Highlights Event
Matchups for the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challengeâ€”featuring top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissionerâ€™s Cup on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNUâ€”will be highlighted by North Carolina vs. Michigan State at Ford Field in Detroit, site of the 2009 Final Four. This yearâ€™s schedule will also include defending Big Ten regular-season and Conference Tournament Champion Wisconsin at Virginia Tech, Duke at Purdue and four other first-ever Challenge showdowns.
For the fourth consecutive year, the event will feature 11 games and will include two telecasts on ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network.Â ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the remaining nine games.Â The event will be played on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (December 1-3).
2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined)
Monday, Dec. 1
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech
Tuesday, Dec. 2
Duke at Purdue
Clemson at Illinois
Ohio State at Miami
Virginia at Minnesota
Iowa at Boston College
Wednesday, Dec. 3
North Carolina vs. Michigan State (from Ford Field)
Indiana at Wake Forest
Michigan at Maryland
Florida State at Northwestern
Penn State at Georgia Tech
2008 Challenge highlights:
First-Ever Meeting: Wisconsin and Virginia Tech will square off in the first meeting between the two programs.
Pursuing Perfection: Two teams will look to continue their undefeated streaks in the Challenge: Duke is 9-0 while Boston College has won its previous two games.
First Time Around: Six of the 11 games will feature the first Challenge matchup between the schools: Wisconsin at Virginia Tech, Clemson at Illinois, Ohio State at Miami, Iowa at Boston College, Duke at Purdue, Michigan at Maryland.
Unfamiliar Opponent: Iowa and Boston Collegeâ€™s first Challenge matchup will also mark the first time the teams have met since 1974, a Boston College victory.
Commissionerâ€™s Cup: The ACC has won the Commissionerâ€™s Cup the previous nine years.
Since 2000, the ACC (8) and the Big Ten (7) have combined for 15 Final Four appearances (42 percent of the Final Four field) and four national titles – North Carolina (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.
Big Ten highlights include:
Final Four Regulars: The Big Ten has accumulated a record 39 Final Four appearances, tying the ACC for the national lead. The Big Ten is also tied with the ACC and SEC with the second-most national titles (10) in college basketball history. The Pac-10 leads all conferences with 15 titles. Since the inception of the NCAA Tournament in 1939, the Big Ten has recorded the most appearances of any conference in the Big Dance with 184 (ACC, 171) and has the second-most NCAA Tournament victories with 295 (ACC, 329).
A Deep Conference: The Big Ten is the only conference since 2000 to advance five different programs to the Final Four. The ACC, Big 12 and Big East have each had four different schools reach the national semifinals over that time, followed by the Pac-10 (2) and the SEC (2). Michigan State leads the Big Ten with three appearances (2000, 2001 and 2005) while Illinois (2005), Indiana (2002), Ohio State (2007) and Wisconsin (2000) have each earned a Final Four spot since 2000.
Rare Air: Michigan State and Wisconsin advanced to the third round of this yearâ€™s NCAA Tournament, making them two of 12 programs that have advanced to the Sweet 16 in at least three of the last six years. Duke, Kansas and Texas lead the group with four appearances. The Spartans and Badgers join Connecticut, Memphis, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Villanova and West Virginia with three appearances.
The Big Dance Constants: Michigan State is one of only five schools in the nation that has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 11 years, joining Arizona, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky. Wisconsin is only one of eight schools to make 10 straight appearances. The Badgers are joined by Gonzaga and Texas and the five teams listed above.
Cream of the Crop:Â With the addition of Tom Crean at Indiana, Todd Lickliter at Iowa, John Beilein at Michigan, and Tubby Smith at Minnesota, the Big Ten coaching contingent boasts six national coach of the year honorees, more than any other conference. The Big Tenâ€™s six national coach of the year award winners include Illinoisâ€™ Bruce Weber (2005); Indianaâ€™s Crean (2003); Iowaâ€™s Lickliter (2007); Michigan Stateâ€™s Tom Izzo (2001, 1999, 1998); Minnesotaâ€™s Smith (2005, 2003) and Wisconsinâ€™s Bo Ryan (2007, 2008).
The Nationâ€™s Best Fans: With an average of nearly 12,900 fans per Big Ten home game during the 2007-08 campaign, the conference is on pace to lead the nation in attendance for the 32nd consecutive year. Big Ten teams welcomed 2,437,673 fans for 189 home contests this season to average 12,898 per game. The Big Ten broke the two-million mark in total attendance for the 16th straight year and the one-million-fan mark in conference games for the 31st straight year.
First team offense enters for last set of 11 on 11. Payton currently has 11 carries for 52 yards. Second team offense enters after 3 and out. Offsides called on defense. Chappell finished 16-22 for 135 yards. Fisher had 6 catches for 40 yards.
4th set of 11 on 11 begins. First flag on the offense for holding. Dedmond makes a 19 yard grab on the sideline. Chappell is 14-19 for 134 yards. Dedmond has 3 catches for 44 yards. Second team offense comes on the field. 7 yard by Walker up the sideline. Burgess goes up the middle for no gain. High snap, leads to sack by Kozak. Darius Johnson intercepts the Evans pass. Set of plays ends.
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It’s warm, but very windy at Memorial Stadium this afternoon. We’re expecting today’s scrimmage to get under way in a few minutes and we’ll bring you live updates throughout it.
Former Indiana assistant Ray McCallum will be announced as the new coach at the University of Detroit Mercy today.
McCallum, who has head coaching experience at Ball State and Houston, came to Indiana along with Kelvin Sampson two years ago. But it was well known that he wanted a head coaching job and was waiting for the right opportunity to come along; he turned down Indiana State last year.
It appears as though McCallum never sought a spot on Tom Crean’s staff. He had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Stan Joplin at Toledo, and many MAC people pushed hard for his return to the conference (Joplin, by the way, has been mentioned as a possible Crean assistant on the message boards but won’t be, according to sources).
McCallum leaving is a huge blow to the Bloomington North program. Ray McCallum Jr. was quickly developing into one of the top players in the state. He’s a high Division I prospect at point guard.
The Titans play in the Horizon League and are probably best known for being the place where the loudest college hoops fan of them all, Dick Vitale, coached in the 1970s.
The Hoosiers will be on the field at Memorial Stadium at 4 p.m. today for a football scrimmage that will begin around 4:20 or so.
This second scrimmage of the spring will have 75 plays – five sets of 15 plays with other drills in between those sets. Last Saturday, in the first scrimmage of the spring, IU ran 60 plays – five sets of 12. The scrimmage is open to the public and admission is free.
As I reported in the H-T and HoosiersHQ.com today, one of the interesting sights at practice yesterday was seeing 6-8, 340-pound offensive lineman James Brewer participating in some of the drills for the first time in a year. We’ve seen Brewer in a walking cast and riding a golf cart since he suffered a foot injury last spring. That injury – like the foot injury of running back Demetrius McCray – has been slow to heal.
So even though Brewer won’t actually play on the offensive line this spring, the fact that he’s come far enough – after an injury that had to give him some doubts about whether he’d ever play again – to participate in some of the drills is significant progress. Bill Lynch said yesterday that Brewer has been moving well so far. He said coaches have high hopes for the massive Indianapolis native who has good feet and strength. The key moving ahead will be keeping Brewer, a sophomore next fall, healthy to get lots of repetitions in practice.
“It’s huge for him,” Lynch said of Brewer’s return to the field in a part-time capacity.
If Brewer can regain and maintain full health, the possibility of in a year or two having him playing on the same line as 6-3, 350-pound redshirt freshman Dennis Zeigler is an intriguing one. Because of injuries to others, Zeigler has been playing on the No. 1 offense at right tackle this spring and has done a good job for a youngster. Brewer and Zeigler would both be among the largest linemen currently in the Big Ten and ever at IU. Even by NFL standards, they’re both really big.
If you go to the scrimmage today, look for #66 Zeigler at right tackle and #73 Brewer on the sidelines. They shouldn’t be hard to find.
New Indiana coach Tom Crean met with reporters again today, this time sitting down for televised interviews (including one with the H-T). As he discussed the big ideas behind rebuilding Indiana, the process of doing just that took place all around him.
On the court below (he was being filmed at the top of the North stands at Assembly Hall) several players went through conditioning workouts with strength coach Jeff Watkinson. Brandon McGee, Kyle Taber, Brett Finkelmeier and Jordan Crawford were all there. They started by shooting around for a bit before shifting to agility drills.
Eric Gordon and Lance Stemler also worked out with Watkinson, and D.J. White strolled through the building a little bit later, presumably to get some shots off in preparation for his upcoming NBA evaluations.
Two of the new assistant coaches were also in the Hall, getting adjusted to their new jobs. Tim Buckley, who was the head coach at Ball State and an assistant to Steve Alford at Iowa, is following Crean from Marquette. He left the building in mid-afternoon with Jeff Meyer, a Sampson assistant whose job status is unclear.
Meanwhile, Bennie Seltzer had a 20-minute conversation with Armon Bassett, the point guard who is still trying to work his way back onto the team after being kicked off by Dan Dakich. Bassett was very loyal to Sampson; Seltzer has a long history with Sampson. He played for him at Washington State, then coached with him for nine years at Oklahoma. When Sampson came to IU, Seltzer went to Marquette. Now, two years later and after so much trouble for his mentor, Seltzer finds himself in Bloomington.
Crean has not said what, if anything, Bassett could do to rejoin the team. But obviously, the two sides are having discussion and there seems to be a possibility that something will be resolved soon.
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