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Report: Indiana to play at Syracuse in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Indiana will play at Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge according to a Twitter report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.  The game will be held on Tuesday, November 30.

Indiana won its last national championship by beating Syracuse in the title game in 1987 in New Orleans. Since then, however, the Orange have won the last five meetings, four of which were at neural sites. Most recently, the Orange eliminated the No. 1 seed Hoosiers in the NCAA Tournament East Regional semifinals in Washington, D.C. in March of 2013, then beat them again the following season in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Carrier Dome in December of that year.

The Orange finished 18-10 last season, 9-7 in the ACC, but earned a bid in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 11 seed. They upset No. 6 seed San Diego State and No. 3 seed West Virginia to reach the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 2 seed Houston in the Sweet Sixteen.

Word has now leaked about seven of Indiana’s 11 non-conference games, though IU has not formally confirmed any of them. Syracuse is the first known true road game. The Hoosiers will play Notre Dame in the annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They have home games scheduled with St. John’s as part of the Gavitt Games, Merrimack, Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, and Northern Kentucky.

The Orange are led by head coach Jim Boeheim, who has held that role since 1976.  He has 982 career wins and played for the program in the 60s.

Syracuse finished the 2020-21 season ranked No. 42 overall according to, with the No. 24 offense and the No. 77 defense.  Of course Boeheim continues to run his legendary zone defense.

Players who have departed or are expected to depart from the 2020-21 team are Alan Griffin (13.3 PPG), Quincy Guerrier (13.7 PPG), Marek Dolezaj (9.8 PPG), Kadary Richmond (6.3 PPG), Robert Braswell (3.8 PPG), Woody Newton (3.5 PPG), and John Bol Ajak (0.2 PPG).

Expected to return are Boeheim’s son and leading scorer Buddy Boeheim (17.8 PPG), along with Joseph Girard III (9.8 PPG), Bourama Sidibe (6.0 PPG in 2019-20), Jesse Edwards (1.9 PPG), and Frank Anselem (1.5 PPG).

Key newcomers to the program include Benny Williams (4-star), Cole Swider (5.7 PPG at Villanova), Jimmy Boeheim (16.7 PPG at Cornell), and Symir Torrence (2.4 PPG at Marquette).

The Big Ten captured the 2020 Challenge with a 7-5 record, marking the second year in a row that the Big Ten bested the ACC. Last year, two of the Challenge’s 14 contests were not played due to COVID-19 concerns. In 2019, the Big Ten won the Challenge with an overall record of 8-6. The ACC leads the all-time series 12-7-3, with its last victory coming in 2017. The Big Ten has won seven of the last 12 Challenges dating back to 2009, with the ACC emerging victorious in 2016 and 2017, and the conferences splitting the Challenge three times (2012, 2013 and 2018).

Indiana later confirmed the game in a release that follows.

From IU Athletics:

Indiana Will Visit Syracuse in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

For the third time in four years, the Indiana University men’s basketball team will hit the road in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge when it travels to Syracuse on Tuesday, November 30.  This will be the 23rd year of the challenge and will be the second meeting  between the two teams that played for the NCAA Championship, which Indiana won in 1987, in this series.  Syracuse defeated the Hoosiers, 69-52, at home in 2013.  Since that national title game, the Orange have won the last five meetings.

IU will begin the Mike Woodson Era this season and return three starters including sophomore All-American Trayce Jackson Davis.   He was the only major college player to average 19 points and nine rebounds a season ago. Junior guard Rob Phinisee and junior forward Race Thompson are returning starters who also are back.

Syracuse was 18-10 last season and secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year in which the competition was held. The 11th-seeded Orange upset San Diego State and West Virginia and advanced to the Sweet 16 before losing to Final Four bound Houston.  Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim is second in all-time Division I coaching triumphs. He is also second on the active games coached list, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the two categories.

IU is 8-12 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge after falling 69-67 in overtime at #20 Florida State last year.  IU has played a nationally ranked foe in the event for six straight seasons and eight of the last nine campaigns.  The Hoosiers will be looking for their first road win in the series wince winning at NC State, 86-75 in 2011.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event, and all games will also be available to stream via the ESPN app.  Start times and network designations will be announced at a later date.  The Big Ten has captured the Commissioner’s Cup in each of the last two seasons.


(Syracuse leads 5-1)

3/30/87            W        74-73               New Orleans (NCAA Championship)

11/23/88          L          78-102             New York

11/25/90          L          74-77               Lahaina, Maui

11/25/98          L          63-76               Lahaina, Maui

3/28/13            L          50-61               Washington, D.C.

12/3/13            L          52-69               Syracuse, N.Y.

2021 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Indiana at Syracuse

Florida State at Purdue

Duke at Ohio State

Louisville at Michigan State

Michigan at North Carolina

Nebraska at NC State

Wisconsin at Georgia Tech

Iowa at Virginia

Notre Dame at Illinois

Clemson at Rutgers

Northwestern at Wake Forest

Minnesota at Pitt

Virginia Tech at Maryland

Miami at Penn State

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