Let's hope the preview is posted before Wednesday evening (thanks Tim!).
Is it Finally the Big Ten's Turn?
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge has been a one-sided affair in its 10 years of existence, with the Atlantic Coast conference emerging victorious in each of the first 10 years. With the Big Ten poised for a great year throughout the conference, there has been talk that this is the year for the midwesterners to emerge victorious.
The First Decade
|Year||ACC Wins||Big Ten Wins|
* Michigan State v. UVA was cancelled in progress in 2001.
The ACC's fluctuating membership is to blame for the different numbers of games played during different years. Still, that conference came out on top each year, regardless of how many games were played. So, that's how the Big Ten did in the first 10 years of the Challenge, but how did Michigan do?
|1999||@Georgia Tech||W 80-77|
|2000||Wake Forest||L 60-71|
|2003||NC State||W 68-61|
|2004||@Georgia Tech||L 68-99|
|2006||@NC State||L 67-74|
|2007||Boston College||L 64-77|
Before you lament the Wolverines' losing record (3-5) in the event, it's important to note that every single Big Ten team except Michigan State has a losing record in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. In fact, the Wolverines are tied for 3rd-best record in the event among Big Ten teams.
So, is the Big Ten a strong contender to finally break through in 2009? Let's take a look at the matchups (home teams bolded):
|Big Ten Team||ACC Team||Date & TV|
|Penn State||Virginia||Tonight, 7PM, ESPN2|
|Purdue||Wake Forest||Tues, 7PM, ESPN|
|Northwestern||NC State||Tues, 7PM, ESPNU|
|Indiana||Maryland||Tues, 7:30PM, ESPN2|
|Michigan State||North Carolina||Tues, 9PM, ESPN|
|Iowa||Virginia Tech||Tues, 9:30PM, ESPN2|
|Illinois||Clemson||Wed, 7:15PM, ESPN|
|Minnesota||Miami||Wed, 7:15PM, ESPNU|
|Michigan||Boston College||Wed, 7:30PM, ESPN2|
|Wisconsin||Duke||Wed, 9:15PM, ESPN|
|Ohio State||Florida State||Wed, 9:30PM, ESPN2|
Georgia Tech does not play for the ACC this year.
The Big Ten has home-court advantage this year, and strangely, the only two games that won't air on basic cable both take place in ACC arenas.
The ACC and Big Ten have already squared off a few times this year, with North Carolina topping Ohio State and Wisconsin beating Maryland. Things looked a whole lot rosier for the Big Ten prior to the weekend, where Michigan, MInnesota, and Michigan State all suffered unexpected losses. The Only Colors gave the odds for all the games, and it ain't pretty, with only Michigan, Purdue, and Ohio State favored to win. Still, with 11 games left to play, and the Big Ten as strong as ever, there's no reason to give up hope quite yet.
Preview of Michigan's opponent, the Eagles of Boston College, will be coming later in the week.
FWIW, I call the games like this:
UVA over Penn State
Purdue over Wake
Northwestern over NC State
Maryland over IU
UNC over MSU
VT over Iowa
Illinois over Clemson
Minnesota over Miami
Michigan over BC
Duke over Wisconsin
OSU over FSU
That'd be 6-5, Big Ten. Maybe it is time.
I think Clemson beats Illinois...
I think PSU could also win while Northwestern loses, but that still makes it 6-5 ACC.
After the past weekend Minnesota and Illinois wins seem a little less likely, but at the same time I expect at least Minnesota to come away with a win there. Along with the 3 favorites, I think PSU has a decent chance tonight because Virginia is just not good. I also look at Wisco, MSU, and even Indiana as having pretty solid chances. I'm not suggesting we win all these games I listed, I'm just saying we do have a decent chance to finally win.
Before the season, it looked like the Big 10 was in great shape to finally win this thing. Since then, most Big 10 teams have been underwhelming considering the preseason rankings. Hopefully they all step up this week and get some more respect for the Big 10.
Unfortunately, I placed friendly bets with some ACC brethren that the Big Ten finally takes the challenge this year before Kevin Coble got hurt. I was banking on a sure Northwestern victory. Now, not so much.
Thankfully, it looks like Penn State will have the Big Ten off to a strong start.
N'W over NC State looked like a sure thing before Coble's demise. Sucks for the Big 10. But Penn State held on tonight for a win. 1-0 good guys so far. Looks like Penn State is going to be all Battle this year. He scored almost half their points tonight. Stop him and you stop PSU.
Penn State looked like they were trying to give it away the last couple of minutes. I'm glad they were able to hang on. Only 5 more wins needed.
CONFERENCE PRIDE!!! WOOOOO!!!
Good thing that success in your conference actually means something in basketball.
The only time I will ever, ever root for OSU is when we beat them in BBall and they will improve our RPI by beating people.
Call off the rest of the challenge...it's over now!
WE ARE!...PENN ST!
5 more wins to go. My money is on Purdue, NW, Minnesota, Michigan and one win between Illinois, Ohio St and Michigan St...I am gonna go with Ohio St since they are at home.
I think we have a really good shot to get it this year. I don't think it will be big or anything but something like 6-5 is definitely possible.
Minnesota gets one of their suspended guys back for this game (Bostick) from what I was hearing. That should help them I would think.
It stinks that the two drecks of our conference this year both got home games in this. Big Ten was probably losing those no matter what, we would have been way better off with Illinois and Minnesota having those home games.
Also, I think Northwestern is better than we thought they'd be without Coble. They looked pretty ugly against Butler, but neutral wins over Notre Dame and Iowa State this weekend I think means they've started to figure out how the team will go without Coble. Shurna really stepped up this weekend.
they determine the match-ups each year for this challenge?