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Jackets Visit Northwestern for ACC-Big Ten Challenge

By: Georgia Tech Sports Communications
By: Georgia Tech Sports Communications

Evanston, IL - Georgia Tech finishes off a week-long road trip Tuesday night when it travels to Evanston, Ill., for a 7 p.m. Eastern time game against Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The game is being televised on ESPN2.

Tech (4-2) has won three of its last four games, the lone loss coming in its last game at the hands of No. 9 Syracuse, 80-76, Saturday night in the championship game of the Legends Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J, The trip to Northwestern will be the Yellow Jackets’ second game on an opponents’ homecourt this season.

Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team returns two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won three games in last year’s ACC Tournament to reach the championship game, then won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament. Tech has been picked to finish ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Northwestern, which returns four starters and 12 letterwinners from a team that went 20-14 last year, is off to its first 4-0 start in 17 seasons following a 65-52 victory Sunday night over Creighton. The Wildcats have also beaten Northern Illinois, Texas-Pan American and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Tech, which brings a 4-6 ACC-Big Ten Challenge record into Tuesday night’s game, and the Wildcasts are meeting for the first time on the hardwood.

Hewitt is in his 11th season at Tech, the third-longest tenure of any ACC head coach behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (30th season) and Maryland’s Gary Williams (22nd season), and has a record of 181-146.

Game Data - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-2, 0-0 ACC) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tipoff: 7 p.m. Eastern time

Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena (capacity 8,117), Evanston, Ill.

Television: ESPN2 - Bob Wischusen, play-by-play; Stephen Bardo, color

Radio: Georgia Tech/ISP Sports Network, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) - Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.

Satellite Radio: XM Ch. 190

On the web: www.Ramblinwreck.com; www.twitter/com/gtathletics; www.facebook.com/gtathletics

Tech Record Breakdown: 3-0 at home, 0-1 on the road, 1-1 neutral

Series History: teams’ first meeting

Tech in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge: 4-6 (did not participate in 2009)

National Rankings: Georgia Tech is unranked; Northwestern is unranked.

Series vs. Northwestern

Georgia Tech and Northwestern are meeting in basketball for the first time in school history. In fact, the Wildcats are the only Big Ten program the Yellow Jackets have never faced.

Tech has played every other Big Ten team at least twice. The most recent first meeting between the Jackets and a Big Ten team was Iowa, who Tech played for the first time in the 2000 ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Before that, Tech and Penn State played for the first time in a post-season NIT game in Atlanta in 1998.

The Yellow Jackets are 16-30 all-time against teams from the Big Ten, including a 4-6 mark in ACC-Big Ten Challenge games.

Tech head coach Paul Hewitt is facing the Wildcats for the second time in his career, however. Hewitt brought his Siena team to Welsh-Ryan Arena in 1997 and earned the first victory of his head coaching career, 89-85.

Tech in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

After a one-year hiatus, Georgia Tech is back in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the 11th time in the 12-year history of the event.

Tech holds a 4-6 mark in the event, and has a 1-4 mark in ACC-Big Teh Challenge games on the road. The Yellow Jackets’ only road win in the series occurred in 2003, a 73-53 win at Ohio State the year in which Tech reached the NCAA Championship game.

Tech also has visited (see list on page 2) Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan State and Indiana.

Seven of Tech’s previous ACC-Big Ten Challenge games have been decided by four points or less, including each of the last four (see scores elsewhere on this page). The most lopsided Tech win was a 99-68 homecourt victory over Michigan in 2004, and the most lopsided loss was an 85-67 decision at Iowa in 2000.

Not Yet a Lethal Weapon

Brian Oliver’s 32 points against Syracuse Friday night in Atlantic City were a career high for the sophomore from Glassboro, N.J., about 45 minutes away.

But it wasn’t the best in Tech history by a player named Brian Oliver. The senior member of the Yellow Jackets’ famed “Lethal Weapon 3” combination in 1990 had four 30-point games in his career, including a career high of 34 accomplished twice during that Final Four season (vs. North Carolina and Clemson).

From One Homecoming to Another

Tuesday night’s game at Northwestern represents the second homecoming for a Georgia Tech player on this road trip. Junior guard Iman Shumpert is from Oak Park, Ill., about 20 miles from Evanston, and played his high school basketball at Oak Park-River Forest, where he was a two-time, first-team all-state performer. The Yellow Jackets hope his homecoming is as successful as his teammate’s was last weekend.

Brian Oliver’s homecoming games last weekend were a rousing success. The sophomore from Glassboro, N.J., about 30 miles away from Atlantic City, made the all-tournament team at the Legends Classic after getting 15 points and 12 rebounds against UTEP and scoring 32 against #9 Syracuse.


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