Men’s basketball draws Minnesota in ACC-Big 10 Challenge


John Blair | Staff Photographer

Pitt men’s basketball will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Petersen Events Center on November 30, as part of the 2021 ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

By Stephen Thompson, Senior Staff Writer

Dates and matchups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge were unveiled on Monday afternoon. Pitt men’s basketball will square off against Minnesota at the Petersen Events Center on November 30, with game time and television broadcast details to be announced at a later date.

“We are excited about the opportunity to compete against Minnesota in a home ACC/Big Ten Challenge game this season,” head coach Jeff Capel said in a release. “We look forward to the opportunity to host another Power 5 opponent in non-conference play.”

The Panthers are 2-1 all-time against the Golden Gophers, but the two teams have not faced each other since 1951.

Pitt is 4-3 in ACC-Big Ten Challenge games, 2-1 in games played at the Petersen Events Center. Its last contest in the cross-conference event was a come-from-behind 71-70 victory on the road against Northwestern. The Panthers scored six points in the final 34 seconds of game time to steal a win from the Wildcats.

Three Panthers led the way offensively in that game, but will not be there to aid the home squad this season. Xavier Johnson, Justin Champagnie and Au’Diese Toney — who combined for 59 points, 31 rebounds and five assists — are no longer with the Pitt program. Johnson and Toney transferred to Indiana and Arkansas, respectively, and Champagnie opted to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft.

The ACC has a 12-7-3 edge in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge with wins in each of the first 10 years of the event. The Big Ten claimed last year’s challenge with an 7-5 record as a pair of contests were cancelled due to COVID-19 issues.