The Wisconsin Badgers will play a familiar non-conference foe with a familiar name later this year.
Announced on Thursday morning, Wisconsin will face Virginia in the 2017 edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Badgers will play the Cavaliers inside John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va., as one of the 14 scheduled games between the two power conferences.
There are obvious connections to both programs. Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard and Virginia head coach Tony Bennett were assistant coaches under Bo Ryan, though as the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin noted, it will be the first time the two face each other with their respective titles.
Virginia assistant Brad Soderberg also led the Badgers’ men’s basketball program after Dick Bennett, Tony’s father, retired during the 2000-01 season—this after being an assistant for the elder Bennett.
Wisconsin and Virginia split a home-and-home challenge from 2012 to 2013, with each program winning on the road (UVA in 2012, UW in 2013).
UW is 9-9 overall in its 18 career Big Ten/ACC Challenge contests, the second-best mark by a conference team.
Wisconsin unveiled its top five Big Ten/ACC Challenge games in school history as well on Thursday.