Per a report made by the Atlantic Coast Conference to ESPN, the Big Ten has cancelled the annual women’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge for women’s basketball this season. This came out the same day that the pairings for the annual men’s challenge were formally announced by the two conferences.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is continuing this season in men's basketball, but not in women's basketball. https://t.co/1c2P9Q70VM— ESPN Women's Hoops (@ESPN_WomenHoop) October 30, 2020
The men’s challenge dates back to 1999, while the women’s challenge did not begin until 2007. Michigan State’s women are 6-7 overall in the series. Last season, then No. 19 MSU lost 78-68 at No. 8 Florida State. In 2018, MSU beat Virginia 91-66 in East Lansing.
Other opponents and results include wins over Georgia Tech, NC State, Florida State, North Carolina, and Clemson. MSU has also lost to Miami (twice), Syracuse, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and an additional loss to Florida State beyond 2019’s result.
The Big Ten overall is an abysmal 1-9-3 in the series, and only features three teams with a winning record: Indiana, Michigan, and Maryland (since 2014).
What is still lacking at this point is a clear reason from the Big Ten Conference for why the men can play, but the women cannot. The appearance certainly is not a good look for the Big Ten, and a clarifying statement would be beneficial. In its absence, fans are left to wonder about how much the Big Ten values equality and fairness in sports for their student-athletes.