ESPN announced on Thursday that Penn State Basketball will take on North Carolina State in the 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge this autumn. The event, which usually takes place in late November or early December, pits Big Ten basketball programs against their ACC brethren in an effort to determine conference supremacy. The winner gets something called the Commissioner’s Cup, which was recaptured by the ACC last year for the first time since 2008. That means between 2009 and 2015, every Challenge resulted in a Big Ten win or a draw.
The Lions have done their part to help out the Big Ten, going 8-8 in 16 all-time Challenge appearances despite fielding sub-par teams for much of this century. Currently, Penn State is on a three-game Challenge winning streak thanks to victories over Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Georgia Tech during the last three campaigns.
In order to make it four in a row, the Lions will have to defeat North Carolina State on the road at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The Wolfpack is coming off a disappointing 15-17 season that resulted in a first-round loss in the ACC Tournament as well as the dismissal of head coach Mark Gottfried. Penn State last played North Carolina State in the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament, a game that the Wolfpack won handily, 72-55. The Pack also emerged with an 84-76 victory in its last meeting with Penn State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. That game was played in Raleigh all the way back in the year 2000.
All 14 Challenge games will be televised on ESPN networks, although the exact channels, dates, and times won’t be announced until later.