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Pitt, PSU to play in Big Ten/ACC Basketball Challenge

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 2:15 p.m.

Pitt and Penn State will play again — on the basketball court — when the Panthers host the Nittany Lions in the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Basketball Challenge on Dec. 3 at Petersen Events Center.

The game will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

The teams haven't met since December 2005, when Pitt beat Penn State, 91-54. Penn State is Pitt's oldest basketball rival, but Pitt has won the past five meetings and 10 of the past 13, including both at the Pete.

“It's not often that you can pair rivals in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a statement.

“Obviously, ESPN jumped on this opportunity, and it figures to be an exciting matchup for the players, fans and the entire state of Pennsylvania.”

Pitt was 24-9 last season but lost two players to graduation, one to the NBA and another to transfer. Penn State finished 10-21 but returns three starters in addition to senior guard Tim Frazier, a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2011-12 who missed last season with an injury.

Penn State has won four of its past six games in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, including its last three road games, and is 5-7 in 12 Challenge games.

“We are excited to continue a tremendous rivalry with such a long and storied tradition between our two universities,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “It's great that we can be a part of an event that also matches the top two basketball conferences in the nation.”

Other Big Ten/ACC games on Dec. 3 will be Florida State at Minnesota, Illinois at Georgia Tech, Indiana at Syracuse, Michigan at Duke and Notre Dame at Iowa. On Dec. 4, Boston College plays at Purdue, Maryland at Ohio State, Miami at Nebraska, North Carolina at Michigan State, Northwestern at North Carolina State and Wisconsin at Virginia.

This will be the 15th year for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which the ACC leads, 10-3-1.

The conferences split 12 games last season, and seven challenges have been decided by one game or fewer.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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