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Stop Me If You've Heard This One...

... but Jeff Goodman at Fox is reporting UNC will play at Illinois in this year's ACC/Big 10 Challenge. I say "stop me if you've heard this one" because in the 12 years of the event, Carolina has only played four teams: Michigan State (four times), Ohio State (twice), Indiana (twice), and Illinois.

This will mark the fourth time the Heels and the Illini have met in the challenge, where Illinois holds a 2-1 series lead. UNC lost at Champaign 92-65 in 2002, won in Greensboro 88-81 in 2003, and lost a rematch of the national title game in 2005 in Chapel Hill, 68-64. Both Illinois and UNC participated in the NIT last season.

UNC is 6-5 overall in the event, but 6-1 in the last seven years, including four wins in a row. I'm sure Tom Izzo is happy to not see North Carolina as his opponent this year.

In other matchups, Duke will take its turn at laying waste to Izzo's Spartans, this time in Durham. Ohio State will play at Florida State and Purdue will take on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (note to Seth Greenberg - this is the kind of game to schedule and win if you want to make the NCAAs), meaning arguably the Big 10's three best teams will be on the road for this year's challenge. NC State will take the red blazer and its merry band of freshmen to Madison to play Wisconsin.