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Big Ten-ACC Challenge: Schedule, Previews, Picks

Hot off a 6-1 romp for the Big Ten in Night One of the B1G-ACC Challenge, the conference...well, should have this wrapped up by about 6pm, but...?

NCAA Basketball: South Dakota at Nebraska
kinda looks like the Lance Stephenson bit
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

New Developments

Power Poll, Player of the Week, and other football goodies are no doubt on the way, so this’ll be part of a landslide of content (I hope!) in the next couple hours...but since a little has happened overnight, here’s a bump! Updates on tonight to follow, with original article below.

No Grab-Ass in John Paul Jones

Everyone’s eagerly-anticipated tackle basketball game between Michigan State and Virginia has been “postponed” (canceled) on account of COVID in the Cavaliers program.

Here’s hoping for a safe recovery for all those affected in Tony Bennett’s program so they can get back to murdering the sport of basketball one extended possession at a time.

Should we be playing basketball? NO!
A blind pig—with a bad back, we assume—finds an acorn.

Well look look looky here, fresh off two losses at home to a pair of Big Ten teams, suddenly Coach K’s appetite for basketball isn’t what it used to be.

Let’s be clear: This season is a bad idea. It shouldn’t be happening. Games being canceled and postponed and rescheduled and made up on the fucking fly is not, as the HORPiest among us will horp, people “knowing the risks” and “just wanting to play” or “staying home if they feel scared” or any other bullshit.

People are dying. Hospitals are overstaffed. Unpaid athletes do not have some obligation to bounce around for your enjoyment. At some point it’s the responsibility of the adults in the room—hypothetically that’s the NCAA, though watching the continued existence of the North Carolina Tar Heels program serves as reminder that the NCAA doesn’t give a fucking shit about its brands and the “integrity” of college hoops—to step in and call this.

Jay Bilas started getting into this last night when Illinois-Duke was mostly out of hand, and it was as spot-on as I’ve heard—as close to real honesty from someone being paid to call this shit—this fall:

Predictably, lots of “WaTcH JaY BiLaS oN mUtE” chuds and “sTiCk To SpOrTs” types have voiced their annoyance with that, and whatever. This was all a mistake. MSU-UVA is canceled, we shouldn’t be playing basketball, and we lost a couple B1G-ACC Challenge games as a result. Nothing of value. Instead...

Michigan, wisconsin schedule makeup games!

The badgers host Rhode Island at 3:30pm on BTN.

Michigan welcomes nearby Toledo at 5pm on FS1. The latter randomly popped up on the schedule in the last 12ish hours. I assume a “u up” text was involved. Go Rockets.

Original article follows.

The Big Ten plays the ACC in a series of 14 12 11 inter-conference games, starting tonight!

Do you care? Great! Previews ahead!

Do you not care? Great! Talk shit in the comments anyway!

Big Ten-ACC Challenge Previews

What game—besides your own—are you definitely watching?

MNW: Syracuse-Rutgers. How can it not be? To be honest, that’s a two-game smorgasbord of UNC-Iowa (pace and points, hell yeah) and Cuse-Gers (clang and bang and zone and snooze), but I’d love to see how the Knights can handle the Orange zone. Huge bummer this one can’t be in front of fans.

Stew: I’m going to check out VA tech/PSU because I still love Cordell Pemsl and his old man game.

Candystripes: Purdue, Iowa, and Ohio State, because those will actually be on TV while I’m at work. I might also catch part of Illinois and Rutgers games, but minimal attention will probably be paid.

Andrew K: Would certainly like to get a look at Iowa facing their first real opponent, and to see what Illinois does against a merely talented and not incredibly deep and experienced backcourt, but we’ll see if the plans allow.

People can go outside in December [in Florida], you guys.

BoilerBettor: Illinois at fuck Duke. Please just win, Illini. Prove to the world that Coach K can’t intimidate refs without the Crazies.

Jesse Collins: Um, probably UNC at Iowa? Iowa is - begrudgingly - good, and if Garza for player of the year is going to gain steam, he needs to show up here.

WhiteSpeedReceiver: I’ll probably watch Illinois-Duke, because it should be interesting. Also, the “These coaches should both have show-causes” matchup between Georgia Tech and Nebraska? Maybe they’ll be flying backpacks of money thrown between the benches at some point.

Aaron Yorke: North Carolina vs. Iowa should have fireworks and Illinois vs. Duke has major star power, but I’m most looking forward to Michigan State vs. Virginia. The Spartans are flying under the radar with Cassius Winston moving on, but they’ve already taken down Duke and Aaron Henry is finally playing up to his potential.

What game would you not watch even if we PAID you to not watch the games?

MNW: As a Northwestern fan, I really should not throw stones at Georgia Tech-Nebraska, and at least the Huskers play with some pace. This is the first real test for the ‘Cats, and even a win here might not teach us jack shit.

A loss sure would, though.

Stew: Anything involving Virginia or wisconsin unless it’s the last couple of minutes and they’re losing. But also that rutger/Cuse game looks absolutely dreadful.

Candystripes: Pitt at Northwestern. Just doesn’t sound like fun to me.

BoilerBettor: The Nittany Lions cost me a unit over the weekend after blowing a late lead. They’re dead to me.

Jesse: I’m not going to watch Pitt-NW or PSU-VT and honestly, I am only going to watch my team because it is my team.

WSR: MSU-UVA and Pitt-jNWU are crimes against basketball in the making.

Aaron: Pitt vs. Northwestern should be pretty terrible, and it’s going to be a struggle to get back on the Penn State bandwagon after Sunday’s collapse.

Any intriguing matchups?

MNW: I’m fearful that we saw in Illinois-Baylor what will lead to Illinois struggling in big games—outside Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, what are the Illini gonna hit Duke with?—but then Michigan State went and did what they did to the Blue Devils. Why not?

Stew: Illinois/Duke. Both teams play generally enjoyable styles, some great players with a ton of talent. Overall, a great matchup of two teams that cheat to win.

Candy: Iowa, Illinois, and MSU (if you can ignore Virginia’s stylistic suck).

Jesse: Obvious is obvious - Illinois-Duke is an early bellweather on how the B1G is going to do in this damn thing. I really don’t want to watch Michigan State @ Virginia, but that also is pacing how good our conference is. That’s intriguing I guess?

WSR: Not...not really? The closest thing might be UNC-Iowa, but I don’t like it when Iowa’s good at basketball. It feels unholy.

Aaron: Syracuse vs. Rutgers: OLD SCHOOL BIG EAST CHALLENGE. Both teams will be facing their first major opponent of the season, and it will be fun to see if the Knights can live up to the preseason hype by taking down a team that used to beat up on them.

See our full picks for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge at the bottom!

Game Schedule

All times CT. This is a Midwestern conference. Suck it, coasties.

Tuesday, December 8

Purdue Boilermakers (3-1) at Miami Fluoride Hurricanes (2-0)

4pm | ESPN2 | Purdue -2 | O/U 136.5

BoilerBettor: It sounds like Eric Hunter Jr. is “full go” according to Painter and that’s a good thing. Hopefully, he’s able to be effective and limit some turnovers that have plagued the Boilers early this season.

Trevion and Mr. See Ball Dunk Ball Edey need to dominate. No idea what happens but this could be a sneaky good game.


HURRI-TRAINS—pick your winner or personification thereof

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Sebastian the Intoxicated Ibis
    (7 votes)
  • 78%
    (25 votes)
32 votes total Vote Now

Boston College Eagles (1-3) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-0)

6pm | ESPNU | Minn -7 | O/U 149.5

WSR: We’ll win, but it will not be pretty by any stretch of the imagination. I’m looking forward to see how Liam Robbins gets his dumb fouls in this one.


i mean

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    (4 votes)
  • 90%
    (40 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now

#16 North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1) at #3 Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0)

6:30pm | ESPN | Iowa -3 | O/U 159

Stew: Iowa’s known a bit for pushing pace, but that’s typically just on offense, their transition defense is worse than the half court defense. So UNC presents a stylistic challenge there. Add in that Luka Garza could have some issues with UNC’s athletic big men. Key for him will be to get them in foul trouble.

If Iowa can hit 3s they should be in good shape for a marquee win. But if they’re turning the ball over and get caught up in bad transition defense it could spell doom. Ultimately I think Iowa handles it well, and sends Roy Williams packing.

PS—thought you were free of Dakich for this one?

MNW: Shout-out, of course, to the real King:



screamy stompy coach battle

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    the one in the sweater vest who benefits from fraudulent academic programs
    (14 votes)
  • 76%
    god, fran doesn’t seem so bad anymore
    (45 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now

#22 Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-1)

6:30pm | ESPN2 | OSU -6 | O/U 141

MNW: Do you care about Ohio State basketball? Interested in writing about it for OTE? Hit me up at minnesotawildcat at gmail dot com.

Or don’t.

But I ain’t previewing this shit.


this is a

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    (39 votes)
  • 58%
    (55 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-1) at #15 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0)

8pm | ESPNU | VT -5 | O/U 141.5

MNW: VaTech is...”flying” feels like the wrong word after they squeaked one out over VMI the other day, but 4-0 is 4-0, and when one of those is a win over Villanova, you’ve gotta give the Hokies their due. Former Wofford coach Mike Young is right back to his program-building ways, with the athleticism of F Keve Aluma—how’d he get away from Maryland?—and G Tyrece Radford pacing the Hokies.

After Penn State’s OT loss to Seton Hall I can’t say I like them to win this one on the road.

Aaron: We saw on Sunday how Penn State’s shallow frontcourt will make it tough to defend talented big men like Sandro Mamukevashvili. Well, here comes Virginia Tech and the 6’9” Keve Aluma with his 17.8 points per game average. I’m not liking Penn State’s chances on the road against an undefeated team that took down Villanova 10 days ago, but you know what they say; you can never count out the Nittany Lions as long as Seth Lundy is on the floor.


too lazy to come up with some appalachian moniker for this one

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    dime store lions
    (9 votes)
  • 78%
    (33 votes)
42 votes total Vote Now

#6 Illinois Fighting Illini (3-1) at #10 Duke Blue Devils (2-1)

8:30pm | ESPN | Duke -3.5 | O/U 146.5

Thump: Well, with Baylor-Gonzaga cancelled, we’ll never know if Baylor has a legit claim to #1, but I know Duke doesn’t. To answer MNW about what the Illini are gonna throw at Duke that they didn’t throw at Baylor...try Ayo Dosunmu, who was invisible against Baylor and will absolutely not have a second consecutive game that bad. Fuck Duke.


what goes better with blue

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (29 votes)
  • 35%
    white and a nice helping of smugness
    (16 votes)
45 votes total Vote Now

Syracuse Orange at #21 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

8:30pm | ESPN2 | Rutgers -4 | O/U 140

Andrew K: I ain’t watching that dreck but Rutacuse could be interesting in the way certain out-there art installations are, because one assumes Rutgers will fire away from 3, which probably won’t go well, but they also have the size to hammer that zone on the boards, so do you maybe just start viewing your first shot as starting a volleyball point on Cuse’s defensive boards?


the battle for a fallacious claim to new york city (you can just say new york)

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (12 votes)
  • 77%
    (42 votes)
54 votes total Vote Now

Wednesday, December 9

Rhode Island Rams (3-2) at #13 wisconsin badgers (3-1)

3:30pm | BTN | wisc -11 | O/U 135

Louisville has the ‘Rona. The badgers found a replacement. This all remains a bad idea.

In all honesty the Rams could make it interesting for a bit. They’ve got former Maryland products Makhi Mitchell and Makhel Mitchell patrolling the inside, so that’s 10 guaranteed fouls given on Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter. All-Name Nominee and 1920s band leader Fatts Russell is a chucker who is a volume scorer, but distributes decently and is joined by G Jeremy Sheppard, who’s got more of an eye from deep, while Antwan Walker does some more standard power forward-type stuff.

The Rams are KP 72, with AdjO at 72, D and 78, and Tempo at 72—a solid team that offers, under third-year coach David Cox, some program consistency and identity. A good mid-week mid-major test for wisconsin.

Maryland Terrapins (4-0) at Clemson Tigers (3-0)

4pm | ESPN2 |

DJ Carver: Is this a game I cared about in the ACC? No. Not at all. Clemson really sucked at basketball while we were in the ACC. Maryland once gave up like a 20 point halftime lead to Clemson and lost and I’m not sure how Gary didn’t stroke out and die when he lost it on the team after.

I do love how they continually avoid giving us Duke though. K hates playing MD. Carry that grudge.


ok pick

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    (85 votes)
  • 15%
    (16 votes)
101 votes total Vote Now

Michigan Wolverines vs. Toledo Rockets

5pm | FS1 | Mich -14 | O/U 145.5

FS1 must be starved for content if this is what they’re turning to. No reruns of Colin Cowherd available?

Indiana Hoosiers (3-1) at #20 Florida State Seminoles (1-0)

6:15pm | ESPN | FSU -3 | O/U 139.5

Candy: I actually think the Hoosiers have a decently good shot here. Florida State has played 1 of games so far, and the biggest concern on my end is that this game is in Tallahassee. Don’t know what if any crowd may be allowed in for that, so as long as no Hoosiers contract COVID, I count this as a win regardless.



This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (56 votes)
  • 39%
    Florida State
    (36 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1)

6:15pm | ESPN2 | GT -2 | O/U 147

Jesse: Nebraska relies on coming out and shooting the ball well from beyond the arc and it’s been mixed results so far. I have said this in other recaps, but this team is about as good as I’ve seen in a while, even though the record might not end up reflecting it. GT is probably pretty similar in talent so maybe a tossup?

I’d still lean the Yellow Jackets, but look for Teddy Allen to do Teddy Allen things and either be the reason we win or the reason we lose.


Pick your bag man:

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Gimme that sweet Hoibergball cash
    (53 votes)
  • 38%
    ...people want to play for Josh Pastner?
    (33 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

#4 Michigan State Spartans (5-0) at #18 Virginia Cavaliers (3-1)

8:15pm | ESPN

Andrew K: Having procured the future Mrs. her fix of both manatees AND dolphins on this trip, I have secured viewing rights for MSU/UVa aka Hauserschlacht - did u kno they are brothers? UVa has been decidedly meh so far this year, but MSU’s had its issues at center and Huff is a force. Plus, Izzo doesn’t mind playing at UVA’s preferred tempo (that would be the literal slowest in the country), which feels like yielding an advantage.

MSU’s troika of Rocket Watts, Joey Hauser, and Aaron Henry is shaping up well, but they’re going to need a big game from someone else to secure the ACC title here (yeah, I’m claiming it at 3-0, what of it).




This poll is closed

  • 47%
    the grabby, clingy ones in green
    (45 votes)
  • 9%
    the grabby, clingy ones in orange
    (9 votes)
  • 42%
    the grabby, clingy ones in [VIRUS SHAPE]
    (40 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1) at Northwestern Wildcats (2-0)

8:15pm | ESPN2 | NU -3.5 | O/U 140.5

MNW: Should beat Pitt, who allowed Drexel to hang around and got beaten in their opener by the Red Flash of St. Francis (PA). But when has that ever stopped the ‘Cats? I’m not convinced we have any one defensive horse who can roll with F Justin Champagnie — that extra “i” is gonna be too much for us to handle.

Then again, this looks to be a different Northwestern club, running the floor and actually making a few of the dozens of threes it bombs away. Maybe Miller Kopp gets hot and Chase Audige and Ty Berry can keep swaggering their way to a strong non-conference.


pick your dookie

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    (22 votes)
  • 70%
    (52 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

Who wins the Big Ten-ACC Challenge? Any other thoughts?

MNW: Big Ten, 7-5.

Candy: It’s too early to be not-football season (things Indiana fans don’t normally get to say with any level of confidence).

BoilerBettor: Covid wins. Mother Nature remains undefeated.

Jesse: Big Ten 5 - ACC 4 - COVID 3

WSR: I’m having a really tough time getting into basketball this year, and I have no idea what it is. Probably the fact that both Iowa and wisconsin are supposed to be “good,” even if that standard is always a weird one when applied to the badgers because they don’t play basketball as recognizable to about 95% of the people who enjoy the sport.

Aaron: It’s awesome that we’re going to get so many of these games in (knock on wood). The start of every college basketball season is weird because of the tournaments all over the place during Thanksgiving week and college football still going on.

It’s even weirder this year with all the cancellations and changes, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the Big Ten measures up against the lamestream media’s favorite hoops league.


Who wins the Big Ten-ACC Challenge?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Big Ten, 7 wins
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    Big Ten, 8 wins
    (4 votes)
  • 7%
    Big Ten, 9 wins
    (4 votes)
  • 34%
    Big Ten, 6 wins + COVID cancelations
    (18 votes)
  • 9%
    Big Ten, 5 wins + COVID cancelations
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    ACC, 7 wins
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    ACC, 8 wins
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    ACC, 9+ wins
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    ACC, 5 wins + COVID cancelations
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    ACC, 6 wins + COVID cancelations
    (0 votes)
  • 19%
    This is worse than DWT;WT
    (10 votes)
52 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for mid-week basketball. Perhaps a full schedule later; I have a lot of finals to grade. Have fun, everyone.


I’m really trying to procrastinate! Games of interest for today, Wednesday, March 245:

Chicago State Cougars at Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

2pm | ESPN+ | Loyola -35.5 | O/U 137.5

God help me, I just can’t quit Chicago State basketball.

NEC Hoops!

Bryant Bulldogs (-5.5, O/U 159) at St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers [3pm, NEC on the Run]
Central Connecticut Blue Devils at Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (-9, O/U 157) [NEC on the Run]

Go to your Roku or other smart TV.

Download “NEC on the Run”.

Congratulations! You can now watch dumb, fast, and occasionally fun low-major East Coast basketball, just like me!

(In all honestly—picture quality ain’t bad, commentators have that funny accent. It’s good!)

Furman Paladins at Cincinnati Bearcats

4pm | ESPN+ | Cincy -4 | O/U 140

  1. Paladins!
  2. Actually should be a good matchup of two teams that you’re looking for on or around the NCAA Tournament bubble—and today they’re #63 (Cincy) and #64 (Furman) in Kenpom, respectively!

Northern Iowa Panthers at #19 Richmond Spiders

5pm | ESPN+ | Richmond -8 | O/U 143.5

I’m on record as believing the Purple Panthers are much better than their 1-3 record indicates—they’ve folded late and had some harsh luck down the stretch. Richmond is finally ranked after wins over Kentucky and Wofford and has a date with #11 West Virginia this Sunday, but they shouldn’t look past UNI.

Eastern Illinois Panthers at Evansville Purple Aces

6pm | ESPN+ | EIU -3.5 | O/U 133

No real comments here other than (1) bad basketball is Good Basketball, and (2) Evansville’s rebrand in 2019 was so bitchin’ and we’ve never talked about it enough:

They do, however, need to bring back these guys:

Oklahoma Sooners at Xavier Musketeers

7pm | FS1 | OU -2 | O/U 146.5

Oh right, the Big 12-Big East slapfight is happening. Creighton got hosed against Kansas yesterday. Sucks.

This is a cromulent game that’ll tip off at halftime of the 6:15 slots.

California Golden Bears at Pepperdine Waves

8pm | CBSSN | Pepperdine -4 | O/U 144

Cal is bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. But the rule is when a major goes to a mid-major, you tune in. It’s why we watch the Cy-Hawk Series in basketball, and it’s why we watch this.

Maybe that moose guy from the Great Alaska Shootout will show up and put a masked moose on the head of the MVP of this game, too.

Last Game of the Night

Florida A&M Rattlers at Oregon Ducks (-27, O/U 136.5) [10pm, Pac12]
Seattle Redhawks at Washington Huskies (-11.5, O/U 135) [10pm, Pac12 Digital]

Last game of the night, and you always watch the last game of the night. (Unless your provider drops Pac-12 or moves it onto the premium package or something. Whatever. I’m over it.)

This remains your open thread.