Thorir Thorbjarnarson and the Huskers take on Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Face Georgia Tech in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln – For the second straight year, Nebraska will be on the road for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the Huskers will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for a matchup with Georgia Tech.  The game at McCamish Pavilion will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The start time and television information will be announced at a later date. All 14 games are carried on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU) and available on the ESPN app.

This will be only the second-ever matchup between the Huskers and Yellow Jackets, as the teams have not played since a 66-49 win by Georgia Tech on Dec. 28, 1983.

The Huskers have played well on the road in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, posting a 3-1 mark following a 68-66 win at Clemson last season. NU also posted road wins at Wake Forest (2012) and at Florida State (2014).

Georgia Tech returns its top three scorers for Coach Josh Pastner, who begins his fourth season at the school. Georgia Tech went 14-18 last year and placed 10th in the ACC with a 6-12 conference mark. Junior guard Jose Alvarado led the Yellow Jackets in scoring (12.5 ppg), assists (3.4 pg) and steals (1.8 spg) last season, while senior forward James Banks III chipped in 10.5 points per game while topping Tech in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and blocked shots (2.5 bpg). Sophomore Michael Devoe is also back after averaging 9.7 points per game and shooting nearly 40 percent from the 3-point line.

Nebraska is 5-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since joining the conference in 2011-12. Five of Nebraska’s eight games have been decided by five points or less, including all three losses. In all, Nebraska is 9-6 all-time in conference challenge games, including the Gavitt Games and the former Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Challenge. The Big Ten is 5-12-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but is an impressive 5-2-3 over the last 10 years. Last year, the teams split the 14 games which allowed the ACC to keep the Commissioner’s Cup.

Nebraska Head Coach Fred Hoiberg is no stranger to conference challenge events in his time at Iowa State, going 2-1 in three such events, including a perfect 2-0 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The Huskers will have a completely retooled roster under Hoiberg, who was hired in April after four-plus seasons with the Chicago Bulls. NU replaces all five starters from a team that went 19-17 and reached the second round of the NIT. In all, 12 of the 13 scholarship players have not played a game at Nebraska and the only returnee who saw playing time a year ago is junior guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson, who averaged 2.0 ppg.. The only other returnee is junior Dachon Burke, who sat out last season after spending two seasons at Robert Morris, where he earned all-conference honors in 2017-18 by averaging 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

The incoming class includes 11 scholarship newcomers and is NU’s second-highest rated class of the Big Ten era by 247Sports, despite Hoiberg and his staff putting the class together in less than six weeks. The newcomers include a pair of junior college guards ranked in the top-10 nationally in Cam Mack and Jervay Green along with five Division I transfers who combined for 2,300 points and more than 1,000 rebounds at the Division I level. A four-member freshman class includes Yvan Ouedraogo, who will play for France’s U-18 team this summer, Samari Curtis, who was Mr. Basketball in Ohio last year after averaging 34 points per game, and Akol Arop, who was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Nebraska last season.

Season-ticket renewals are underway for the 2019-20 season. Invoices had been sent to season-ticket holders prior to today’s announcement with the expectation of 18 home games, including a home game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. However, with Nebraska playing a road game in the Challenge for the second consecutive season, ticket holders will receive email communication regarding updated invoices to reflect a 17-game home schedule. 

For more information on Nebraska basketball tickets, including the season-ticket waitlist, fans can visit Huskers.com/tickets. Nebraska’s full non-conference schedule will be announced later this month.

2019 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule 
Monday, December 2
Miami at Illinois
Clemson at Minnesota
 
Tuesday, December 3
Florida State at Indiana
Iowa at Syracuse
Michigan at Louisville
Duke at Michigan State
Northwestern at Boston College
Rutgers at Pitt
 
Wednesday, December 4
Notre Dame at Maryland
Nebraska at Georgia Tech
Ohio State at North Carolina
Wake Forest at Penn State
Virginia at Purdue
Wisconsin at NC State

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