Pitt will head to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 27 to take on Iowa in the 2018 ACC-Big Ten Challenge. It will be the first time the Panthers have faced the Hawkeyes since 1976, and their first time back in the challenge since they were left out of the event last season.
”The ACC-Big Ten Challenge is always a great early-season contest and one of the marquee events during non-conference play,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said in a statement. “Iowa will be well coached, and there will be a really good gameday environment at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We are looking forward to the opportunity to compete and represent the conference.”
Pitt’s last ACC-Big Ten Challenge game was a 73-59 win against Maryland in November 2016. The Panthers’ win helped the ACC earn a 9-5 win over the Big Ten in the event. Since the inception of the series in 1999, the ACC has established itself as the stronger conference, winning 120 games to the Big Ten’s 91 and winning the overall event 12 times out of a possible 19.
Since joining the ACC, Pitt has gone 2-2 in the challenge, beating Penn State 78-69 in 2013, losing to Indiana 81-69 in 2014 and losing to Purdue 72-59 in 2015 before its aforementioned win over Maryland. Iowa has gone 5-12 in the event, which includes a 4-3 record at home.
Both teams struggled last season, as the Panthers infamously went 0-18 in the ACC and 8-24 overall, while the Hawkeyes played to a 4-14 conference record and were 14-19 overall. However, Iowa will return its top nine scorers from last season, while Pitt lost three of its top four scorers in Ryan Luther, Marcus Carr and Parker Stewart, who all recently transferred out of the program.
With that said, Pitt will feature a robust backcourt recently bolstered by the additions of Trey McGowens, Xavier Johnson, Sidy N’Dir and Curtis Aiken Jr. Malik Ellison will also be eligible after sitting out a year due to transfer rules and is expected to make a significant impact.
The tipoff time and television network for the matchup between Pitt and Iowa have yet to be announced, but ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will be televising the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.