Mar 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Tyler Zeller (44) holds the ball as Ohio Bobcats forward Ivo Baltic (23), guard Nick Kellogg (15) and guard D.J. Cooper (right) defend during the first half of the semifinals in the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
ESPN announced the Big Ten-ACC Challenge pairings today, and as expected, IU is part of an elite matchup. The North Carolina Tarheels will visit Bloomington on November 27. UNC last came to Assembly Hall on December 1, 2004, when Sean May led the Tarheels to a 70-63 victory in his hometown. The 2004 game was, of course, part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, and this year's game will be the third Big Ten-ACC meeting between IU and UNC, and the road team has won each meeting. In November 2001, IU won 79-66 in Chapel Hill. Another interesting factoid, at least to me: the winner of the previous two BT/ACC meetings between the schools each made a deep tournament run. UNC won the 04-2005 title, and IU advanced to the NCAA championship game in 2001-02. IU leads the overall series 7-5.
This is an important boost to IU's schedule because of the end of the Kentucky series. Unfortunately, recent rumors have suggested that IU will not be replacing UK with an elite opponent. While IU's schedule will be respectable, with Georgetown and/or UCLA, UNC, and Butler, I still would like to see another major non-conference matchups. We'll see what happens.