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Big Ten-ACC Challenge: Monday Recaps, Tuesday Previews

Michigan State travels to Louisville and Indiana heads to Duke in games that are definitely there for competitive balance, not TV ratings, no sir.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We head into Day 2 of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge with a split, 1-1, after neither of Monday night’s games went terribly according to play. Here are your updates, previews of Tuesday night’s games, and open thread:


Nebraska Cornhuskers 68, Clemson Tigers 66

BigRedTwice: Isaiah Copeland looked amazing tonight. Overall, the Huskers played a really solid game--good defense, unselfish play, and big nights from several different players. They didn’t quite keep the hammer down at the end as much as one might wish, and consequently, the ending was a bit more suspenseful than needed, but they got it done (courtesy of two clutch free throws by Glynn Watson Jr.) and that’s what matters!

Jesse Collins: Copeland having a full off-season injury free seems to be paying off. He looks like our most complete player this year.

Boston College Eagles 68, Minnesota Golden Gophers 56

WhiteSpeedReceiver: Fucking shame we forgot how to shoot. At one point in the 2nd half we missed 14 threes in a row. That’s not a recipe for success.


[13] Virginia Tech Hokies at Penn State Nittany Lions

VT: 5-0, KP 16 | PSU: 3-2, KP 38
6pm | ESPN2 | VT -4 | O/U 140

The Hokies already have one Big Ten scalp on the year—a Charleston Classic Championship win over Purdue—and now they head up to State College to do it again.

Buzz Williams’ bunch can get out and score, and I’m a little surprised the line on this one is so low—it feels like it should turn into a track meet, though the Hokies don’t play terribly fast. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is lighting it up for VaTech, shooting 61% from the field and 40% from deep and dropping almost 20 a night to go with 5 boards and 4 dimes. Containing him will be key for Penn State’s backcourt.

If Penn State can force Williams to go to his bench—getting Kerry Blackshear Jr. and maybe one other player in some foul trouble—the Lions could prey on a lack of depth out of the Hokies. But they’ll need to exploit a VaTech tendency to not hit the offensive glass and struggle to get to the line (bottom 10 in FT makes and attempts).


Who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    (42 votes)
  • 12%
    (6 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now

Illinois Fighting Illini at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Ill: 2-4, KP 95 | ND: 5-1, KP 52
6pm | ESPNU | ND -7 | O/U 149

Thumpasaurus: We haven’t improved. We may be worse. What we allowed MVSU to do on offense was preposterous. Nebraska beat this same team 106-37. They are among the very worst teams ever to play in our building. Unacceptable to let their guards just fly in unabated for layup after layup. We will get eaten alive in Big Ten play.

Don’t know much about Notre Dame, but they’re going to have to beat someone with a pulse at some point, right?


Which group is better at fighting?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (41 votes)
  • 19%
    (10 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now

[9] Michigan State Spartans at Louisville Cardinals

MSU: 5-1, KP 8 | UL: 3-2, KP 59
6:30pm | ESPN | MSU -5.5 | O/U 154

Andrew Kraszewski: Despite the game being on the road, MSU shouldn’t have much trouble with Louisville. I’m sure Chris Mack will have them up and running soon, but Tricky Dick didn’t leave him the best roster to work with.


Sparty gets it done on the road?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    (51 votes)
  • 3%
    (2 votes)
53 votes total Vote Now

Pittsburgh Panthers at [14] Iowa Hawkeyes

Pitt: 6-0, KP 119 | Iowa: 5-0, KP 32
8pm | ESPNU | IA -11.5 | O/U 154

Stewmonkey13: Iowa gets what seems to be the easiest matchup of the Big Ten ACC Challenge. Pitt was the worst power conference team last year, and while Iowa certainly wasn’t good, seems much improved so far this season. Pitt is 6-0, but with no real inspiring wins, and a new head coach, Jeff Capel, more known for his recruiting than his Xs and Os acumen.

Iowa should be able to take play an inside/outside game with Luka Garza and Tyler Cook drawing attention inside allowing open looks from 3. Look for Iowa to keep up the defensive intensity they’ve shown so far this year, and they should be able to win this one fairly comfortably.


My goodness, an 11.5-point line?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Hawks cover it.
    (28 votes)
  • 45%
    Hawks win, don’t cover.
    (29 votes)
  • 10%
    Pitt straight-up.
    (7 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now

North Carolina State Wolfpack at [22] wisconsin badgers

NCSt: 6-0, KP 35 | wisc: 5-1, KP 12
8pm | ESPN2 | wisc -6.5 | O/U 141

beezer07: Wisconsin plays its 4th P5 team in 6 games, and as with the other 3, I’m very interested to see how Wisconsin fares against A School I’ve Heard Of Before. Wisconsin played great in the dumb Atlantis tournament but succumbed to pretty tremendous defense by UVA. So far, Wisconsin seems to have struggled with really tough defenses that force Wisconsin’s guards well away from the basket. No idea of NC State plays that way, but let’s hope they don’t!

Also, Ethan Happ is currently 5/5 on double-doubles this season, so keep your eyes peeled for the streak to continue!

DJ: You’re good—that’s not how NC State plays. They play man defense like normal teams, not that bullshit pack-line defense that prevents dribble drives and entry passes.



This poll is closed

  • 11%
    NC State
    (6 votes)
  • 88%
    (46 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now

Indiana Hoosiers at [3] Duke Blue Devils

IU: 5-1, KP 22 | Duke: 5-1, KP 1
holy shit, 8:30pm CT?! | ESPN | Duke -15.5 | O/U 161.5

Candystripes for Breakfast: Indiana is very talented, but has more than a few people who would be a part of the normal rotation injured, so they’ve been playing shorthanded for a couple of weeks now. Add to that that IU is on the road, and this has all the makings of a game that may not be that close at the end.

Then again, this matchup seems more for the ratings than competitive balance, so at least someone’s going to get what they want from this.


In this made-for-ESPN event...

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Duke covers
    (31 votes)
  • 38%
    Duke wins, does not cover
    (23 votes)
  • 8%
    Hoosiers straight-up
    (5 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now


Syracuse Orange at [16] Ohio State Buckeyes

SU: 3-2, KP 20 | OSU: 6-0, KP 26
6:15pm | ESPN2

James Snyder: Ohio State is quietly 6-0 this season, with the Cincinnati win looking better and better.

Syracuse will be a huge test for the Buckeyes, because of that pesky zone defense. Ohio State’s offense has yet to gel this season, but the Buckeyes have been fantastic on defense, holding every team to 63 or less.

If Ohio State figures out the zone defense early, they could easily move to 7-0. If they don’t, expect a low scoring game that could potentially not reach 120 combined points. I am also going to be watching the attendance for this game...

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Miami-Florida Hurricanes

RU: 4-1, KP 114 | Mia: 5-1, KP 23
6:15pm | ESPNU


[4] Virginia Cavaliers at [24] Maryland Terrapins

UVA: 6-0, KP 3 | MD: 6-0, KP 33
6:30pm | ESPN

DJ Carver: Maryland gets to play the ugliest form of basketball known to man on the challenge this year when they face Virginia.

Maryland will need another hot shooting performance from three from their freshman guards to pull Virginia off of their pack line defense if they want to win this game. Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith can win this game inside but the bigger question is can Maryland get them the basketball? If they can’t, they’re going to need to rely on hot shooting or their bigs cleaning up on the boards to have a shot at winning.

I’m very intrigued to watch Maryland’s improved defense against actual competition as Maryland has only played one Top 100 Kenpom team so far this season and they looked more like rutger than anything.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Northwestern Wildcats

GT: 4-1, KP 77 | NU: 5-1, KP 46
8:15pm | ESPNU

Preview coming!

[19] Purdue Boilermakers at [15] Florida State Seminoles

Pur: 5-1, KP 13 | FSU: 5-1, KP 14
8:15pm | ESPN2

Boilerman31: Purdue gets its first true road test of the season heading to Tallahassee. This should be another chance to see how Carsen Edwards are advancing.

Florida State isn’t lacking in the size department. Their length will give Purdue issues. It will be crucial for Matt Haarms to stay out of foul trouble and for Ryan Cline to get quality looks.

If this goes well, Purdue will be in good position for a win. If not, Purdue will be in for a long night.

[11] North Carolina Tar Heels at [7] Michigan Wolverines

UNC: 6-1, KP 4 | MI: 6-0, KP 7
8:30pm | ESPN

Preview coming!