Penn State to Face NC State in 2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

By Eric Gibson on June 8, 2017 at 11:35 am
Penn State Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens (11) drives to the basket as Michigan State Spartans guard Lourawls Nairn Jr. (11) defends in the second half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. The Spartans won 78-51.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The 2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups were announced today, and Penn State will face an unfamiliar opponent in the annual event. The Nittany Lions will travel to Raleigh to take on NC State for the second time in the event's history. Time and date of the game will be announced later this summer. 

The Wolfpack went 15-17 last year during a tumultuous season. Head coach Mark Gottfried was terminated in mid-February by athletic director Debbie Yow, but he was allowed to finish out the season. He was then replaced by Kevin Keatts who had a highly successful 3-year stint at UNC-Wilmington. Keatts hails from the Rick Pitino coaching tree and has a strong reputation as a recruiter. 

There is talent to mold in Raleigh due to the return of seven-footer Omer Yurtseven and the addition of Baylor grad-transfer Allerik Freeman. But the Wolfpack are not expected to contend in the ACC in Keatts' first year after losing three starters, including Dennis Smith Jr. This should be an ample opportunity for a crucial road win to add to Penn State's non-conference resume. 

The Nittany Lions are also slated to compete in the 2017 Legends Classic and will wrap up home-and-homes with George Washington and George Mason. The rest of Penn State's non-conference schedule will be released later this summer. 

2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups

Michigan State at Notre Dame
Louisville at Purdue

North Carolina at Michigan
Duke at Indiana
Miami at Minnesota
Wisconsin at Virginia
Maryland at Syracuse
Clemson at Ohio State
Northwestern at Georgia Tech
Iowa at Virginia Tech
Illinois at Wake Forest
Florida State at Rutgers
Boston College at Nebraska

*Shoutout to Pitt, whose collapse was deemed official by ESPN after the Panthers were left out of this year's challenge due to concerns they might not be able to field a D1 team this season. 

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