Illini to Host Syracuse in 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

For the first time in school history, Illinois men’s basketball will host Syracuse at State Farm Center as part of this upcoming season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge series of games.

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer

June 24, 2022

For the first time in each school’s history, Illinois will host an on-campus game against Syracuse as part of the upcoming set of ACC/Big Ten Challenge games this season.

This season’s game, which will be played five days after Thanksgiving on Nov. 29, will mark the first time either school has played each other on its campus after previously meeting three other times in preseason non-conference tournaments or the NCAA tournament.

Illinois won the first meeting with Syracuse (a 64-61 victory at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on Dec. 22, 1978 as part of the Kentucky Invitational Tournament) in Lou Henson’s fourth season with the Illini. The Illini then got arguably one of its most historic wins in program history over Syracuse, 89-86 in the regional final of the 1989 NCAA tournament, in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, in Minneapolis clinching a Final Four berth for the 1988-89 Flyin’ Illini squad. Syracuse has won the most recent matchup, a 75-64 victory on Dec. 27, 1995 in the Honolulu Rainbow Classic, which would prove to be Henson’s final season leading the Illini program.

The Illini own a record of 10-13 all-time in the Challenge but has won its last two ACC/Big Ten Challenge contests, posting a 15-point victory at No. 10 Duke in 2020 and defeating Notre Dame by 10 in Champaign last season. Illinois is currently 6-4 in Champaign in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Syracuse is looking to rebound after a disappointing 2021-22 season that saw Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim endure his first losing campaign in 46 years guiding the Orange program. Syracuse will have a vastly different roster from last season as senior shooting guard Buddy Boeheim, graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim, senior forward Cole Swider and graduate student center Bourama Sidibe saw their eligibility run out last year and sophomore center Frank Anselem along with sophomore wing Chaz Owens put their names in the transfer portal. The Orange bring in a signing class recruiting class ranked in the top-10 nationally, per that includes four-star guard Judah Mintz, four-star shooting guard/small forward Justin Taylor, four-star point guard Quadir Copeland, four-star small forward Chris Bunch, three-star power forward/center Peter Carey, and three-star power forward Maliq Brown.

The announcement of the 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge game likely wraps up the highlighted matchups of Illinois’ 2022-23 non-conference schedule that includes the home game vs. Syracuse, two games vs. either UCLA, Virginia or Baylor in Las Vegas, a game in Madison Square Garden against Texas as part of the Jimmy V Classic and the annual Braggin’ Rights Game in St. Louis vs. Missouri.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will once again combine to televise all 14 games of the 24th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, matching top college basketball programs playing for the Commissioner's Cup. All games will also be available to stream via the ESPN app. Television network assignments and tip times will be announced at a later date.


2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule

Monday, November 28

Minnesota at Virginia Tech

Pitt at Northwestern


Tuesday, November 29

Syracuse at Illinois

Maryland at Louisville

Penn State at Clemson

Virginia at Michigan

Wake Forest at Wisconsin

Georgia Tech at Iowa


Wednesday, November 30

Ohio State at Duke

Purdue at Florida State

Rutgers at Miami

North Carolina at Indiana

Michigan State at Notre Dame

Boston College at Nebraska


Illinois ACC/Big Ten Challenge History (10-13)

Nov. 29, 2021 – Illinois 82, Notre Dame 72 (Champaign, Ill.)

Dec. 8, 2020 – No. 6 Illinois 83, No. 10 Duke 68 (Durham, N.C.)

Dec. 2, 2019 – Miami 81, Illinois 79 (Champaign, Ill.)

Nov. 27, 2018 – Notre Dame 76, Illinois 74 (South Bend, Ind.)

Nov, 28, 2017 – Wake Forest 80, Illinois 73 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Nov. 29, 2016 – Illinois 88, North Carolina State 74 (Champaign, Ill.)

Dec. 2, 2015 – Notre Dame 84, Illinois 79 (Champaign, Ill.)

Dec. 2, 2014 – No. 15 Miami 70, No. 24 Illinois 61 (Miami, Fla.)

Dec. 3, 2013 – Georgia Tech 67, Illinois 64 (Atlanta, Ga.)

Nov. 28, 2012 – No. 22 Illinois 75, Georgia Tech 62 (Champaign, Ill.)

Nov. 29, 2011 – Illinois 71, Maryland 62 (College Park, Md.)

Nov. 30, 2010 – No. 20 Illinois 79, North Carolina 67 (Champaign, Ill.)

Dec. 2, 2009 – Illinois 76, No. 18 Clemson 74 (Clemson, S.C.)

Dec. 2, 2008 – Clemson 76, Illinois 74 (Champaign, Ill.)

Nov. 28, 2007 – Maryland 69, Illinois 61 (College Park, Md.)

Nov. 28, 2006 – No. 23 Maryland 72, Illinois 66 (Champaign, Ill.)

Nov. 29, 2005 – No. 12 Illinois 68, North Carolina 64 (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Dec. 1, 2004 – No. 5 Illinois 91, No. 1 Wake Forest 73 (Champaign, Ill.)

Dec. 2, 2003 – No. 10 North Carolina 88, No. 11 Illinois 81 (Greensboro, N.C.)

Dec. 3, 2002 – No. 25 Illinois 92, No. 12 North Carolina 65 (Champaign, Ill.)

Nov. 27, 2001 – No. 5 Maryland 76, No. 2 Illinois 63 (College Park, Md.)

Nov. 28, 2000 – No. 1 Duke 78, No. 9 Illinois 77 (Greensboro, N.C.)

Nov. 30, 1999 – No. 17 Duke 72, No. 16 Illinois 69 (Chicago)


Illinois Series History vs. Syracuse (2-1)

Dec. 27, 1995 – No. 13 Syracuse 75, No. 12 Illinois 64 (Rainbow Classic, Honolulu)

March 26, 1989 – No. 3 Illinois 89, No. 7 Syracuse 86 (NCAA Tournament, Minneapolis)

Dec. 22, 1978 – No. 15 Illinois 64, No. 8 Syracuse 61 (Kentucky Invitational Tournament, Lexington, Ky.)


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