May 24, 2016
ANN ARBOR — Virginia Tech is not among the spicier names when it comes to ACC basketball. The Hokies have only appeared in the NCAA Tournament eight times and advanced past the second round once (1967).
In a league featuring the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Lousiville and others, the Hokies reside in the background.
If Michigan was looking for a marquee home date in the 2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, it didn’t get it — not on paper, at least.
The 14 matchups of this year’s conference vs. conference showdown were formally announced Tuesday, confirming Tuesday night reports that Michigan will host Virginia Tech on Nov. 30 at Crisler Center.
The Hokies, coming off a 2015 NIT appearance, finished 20-15 overall last season, including a 10-8 mark in the ACC. Coach Buzz Williams’ second season in Blacksburg was highlighted by victories over Virginia and Miami, but lowlighted by an opening-season loss to Alabama State and seven losses in an eight-game stretch in league play.
In Williams’ first season, the program finished 2-16 in the ACC, making last season the second-largest single-year improvement in conference history.
While Virginia Tech might not present a headline-grabbing counterpart for Michigan, the Hokies could certainly be formidable. Hope is stirring that the program could return to the NCAA Tournament for the first times since 2007.
The Hokies will return 6-foot-7 forward Zach LeDay (15.5 ppg. 7.9 rpg) and 6-foot-1 guard Seth Allen (14.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 2.5 apg). Ahmed Hill, a 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds as a freshman in 2014-15, will return after missing last season with an injury.
While most of Tech’s roster will be back, Williams did lose guard Jalen Hudson (8.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and 7-footer Satchel Pierce (1.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg) to transfer.
As it stands, Virginia Tech is the lone power conference program visiting Ann Arbor during non-league play.
The Wolverines’ 2016-17 schedule currently features road games at UCLA and Cincinnati, and a trip to the 2K Sports Classic in New York City, where U-M will join Marquette, Pittsburgh and SMU.
Michigan finished 23-13 last season, reaching the first round of the NCAA Tournament after winning a First Four game over Tulsa to advance into the field of 64.
2016 Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Monday, Nov. 28, 2016
Minnesota at Florida State
Wake Forest at Northwestern
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016
Syracuse at Wisconsin
Michigan State at Duke
Pittsburgh at Maryland
Iowa at Notre Dame
Georgia Tech at Penn State
NC State at Illinois
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016
Ohio State at Louisville
North Carolina at Indiana
Purdue at Virginia
Virginia Tech at Michigan
Rutgers at Miami (Fla.)
Nebraska at Clemson
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