Penn State Basketball

Penn State men’s basketball: Nittany Lions to face Virginia Tech in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Penn State and Virginia Tech, two men’s basketball teams looking to rebound from losing seasons, will clash in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3 at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The contest, slated for the final night of the challenge, will be one of 14 games played over three days between the two conferences. The start time and network broadcast schedule will be announced later. The games will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks.

Penn State went 16-18 last season, including 6-12 in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions fell 54-52 against eventual champion Siena in the second round of the CBI Tournament.

Virginia Tech went 9-22 last season under former Penn State assistant coach James Johnson, who was replaced by Marquette’s Buzz Williams after the season. The Hokies went 2-16 in ACC games.

The two teams have met seven previous times with the Hokies holding a 6-1 advantage. The two teams last met in the Challenge in 2007 with the Nittany Lions winning 66-61 at the Jordan Center.

The Nittany Lions return four of five starters, including leading scorer D.J. Newbill, who was second in the Big Ten with 17.8 average. Adam Smith, who was injured after 14 games last season, is Virginia Tech’s leading returning scorer with an 11.0 average.

Penn State is 5-8 in 13 Challenge appearances. The ACC has won 10 of 15 Challenges, but the two conferences have split 6-6 the past two seasons.

This season’s Challenge kicks off Dec. 1 with Nebraska at Florida State and new Big Ten member Rutgers at Clemson.

On Dec. 2, Illinois travels to Miami, Minnesota is at Wake Forest, N.C. State plays at Purdue, new ACC member Louisville entertains Ohio State, Pittsburgh is at Indiana and Michigan hosts Syracuse.

In addition to the Penn State-Virginia Tech clash on Dec. 3, Duke is at Wisconsin, Georgia Tech travels to Northwestern, North Carolina hosts Iowa, Michigan State plays at Notre Dame and Virginia travels to new Big Ten member Maryland.