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    NU to Compete in Las Vegas Invite, Face NC State in Challenge

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Northwestern will face a challenging field at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Northwestern will face a challenging field at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    May 8, 2013

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern will travel to NC State Dec. 4 for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods and will participate in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 28-29 as part of its 2013-14 schedule.

    The Wildcats and the Wolfpack will be meeting for the third time in the Challenge. The two teams split their previous two meetings in the event, both in Raleigh. NC State posted a 74-49 victory Dec. 4, 2002 before Northwestern notched a 65-53 win Dec. 1, 2009.

    The contest marks a return to Tobacco Road for new Northwestern head coach Chris Collins who played collegiately at Duke and then served on the Blue Devils' coaching staff for the last 13 seasons.

    NU is 6-8 in its first 14 Challenge matchups. The Wildcats won four straight contests in the event before dropping a 77-57 home decision to Maryland last season.

    NC State posted a 24-11 record last season, including an 11-7 mark in ACC play, and participated in the NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack will be looking to replace their top four scorers and each of the five individuals who started the majority of their games a year ago. Rising sophomore T.J. Warren is the team's leading returning scorer, averaging 12.1 points per game in 2012-13.

    ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup. All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN.

    All 12 Big Ten teams and 12 of the 15 ACC teams will participate in the 2013 Challenge, including the three newest ACC members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will not play in the 2013 event.

    Tip times and television designations will be announced at a later date.

    Northwestern's participation in the Challenge will be preceded by a trip to the 13th-annual Continental Tires Las Vegas Invitiational. The other three teams in the Wildcats' field in Las Vegas include UCLA, Missouri and Nevada.

     

     

    Each team will play four games, the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds in Las Vegas. The complete field also includes Chattanooga, Morehead State, IUPUI and Gardner-Webb. Matchups will be announced at a later date.

    Northwestern has won in-season tournaments three of the last four years, capturing titles at the Chicago Invitational Challenge (2009), Charleston Classic (2011) and South Padre Island Invitational (2012).

    UCLA went 25-10 during the 2012-13 season and tied for first place in the Pac-12 with a 13-5 record. The Bruins fell to Minnesota in their first game of the NCAA tournament. Rising sophomores Jordan Adams (15.3 ppg) and Kyle Anderson (9.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg) as well as senior Travis Wear (10.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg) will lead the team under new head coach Steve Alford.

    Missouri posted a 23-11 overall record with an 11-7 mark in SEC play last season, falling to Colorado State in its opening contest of the NCAA tournament. Junior Jabari Brown (13.7 ppg) and senior Earnest Ross (10.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) return to lead Frank Haith's Tigers in 2013-14. Joining Brown in the backcourt will be transfer Jordan Clarkson, who averaged 14.2 points per game during his two seasons at Tulsa.

    Nevada slipped to 12-19 last year, its first in the Mountain West Conference. Senior point guard Deonte Burton, the team's co-MVP, returns to lead the Wolf Pack after averaging 16.3 points and 3.6 assists per game in 2012-13. He will be joined in the backcourt by senior Jerry Evans Jr. (7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg) for head coach David Carter's squad.

    Tickets for the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational can be purchased by calling the Northwestern Athletics Ticket Office at 888-GO-PURPLE.

    Northwestern returns 13 individuals for 2013-14 following an injury-plagued season that resulted in a 13-19 record. Redshirt senior Drew Crawford, who earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2011-12 while averaging 16.1 points per game, headlines the list of returners. Junior point guard Dave Sobolewski, a 2011-12 selection to the Big Ten's All Freshman Team, also returns after averaging 9.8 points and 4.0 assists per game last season. Tre Demps (7.8 ppg), Alex Olah (6.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Kale Abrahamson (4.9 ppg) lead a talented sophomore class for the Wildcats.

    2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule
    Tuesday, December 3

    Florida State at Minnesota
    Illinois at Georgia Tech
    Indiana at Syracuse
    Michigan at Duke
    Notre Dame at Iowa
    Penn State at Pittsburgh

    Wednesday, December 4
    Boston College at Purdue
    Maryland at Ohio State
    Miami, Fla. at Nebraska
    North Carolina at Michigan State
    Northwestern at North Carolina State
    Wisconsin at Virginia

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