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ACC/SEC Challenges Revealed for College Basketball to Replace ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 08:  A general view of the game ball and ACC Tournament logo during the first half of the ACC Tournament college basketball game between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Boston College Eagles on March 8, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College basketball fans who enjoy the ACC/Big Ten Challenge should savor this week's competition because it will be the last edition of the event.

On Monday, the ACC, SEC and ESPN announced the creation of the ACC/SEC Challenge for men's and women's basketball starting with the 2023-24 campaign. The new event will replace the traditional ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which started in 1999 and has run for 23 years.

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge isn't the only thing ending as a result of this news.

The 10th and final SEC/Big 12 Challenge on the men's side will take place in January. The challenge between the two conferences on the women's side ran from 2014 until 2021.

This development comes after the Big Ten agreed to a new media rights deal with CBS, Fox, NBC, NBCUniversal's Peacock, Big Ten Network and FS1 in August. While the deal is worth more than $7 billion, it notably didn't include ESPN.

ESPN has long broadcast Big Ten football and basketball games, including those that take place during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

This new challenge between the SEC and ACC will air on ESPN and pits two leagues that still have deals with ESPN against each other in what figures to be a marquee event every college basketball season.

Look for powerhouse programs such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke and Virginia to square off in games that will carry some weight into Selection Sunday as teams across different leagues battle for favorable seeding.

The final men's ACC/Big Ten Challenge starts Monday with a game between Minnesota and Virginia Tech and runs through Wednesday's slate. Notable matchups include North Carolina facing Indiana, Duke playing Ohio State, Notre Dame going against Michigan State, and Michigan playing Virginia.

The last women's ACC/Big Ten Challenge starts with Wednesday's contest between Illinois and Pittsburgh and runs through Thursday's games. Notable matchups include ranked-against-ranked meetings between North Carolina and Indiana, Maryland and Notre Dame, North Carolina State and Iowa, and Ohio State and Louisville.