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2022 B1G-ACC Challenge Way-Too-Early Preview, Analysis, Picks

Some disappointments as Purdue and FSU run it back, but...oh god, here comes Boston College at Nebraska. WHY?

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Purdue
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Old news now, but we’ve got our matchups for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, 2022 Edition. If we want to be the worst, let’s quote the worst:

Or we could just give you a graphic telling you who’s playing whom:

Big Ten

Just think, in 2024 this contest could feature USC at Boston College. What a world.

November 28

November 29

November 30

Oh, wrrrrrrrriters?

Give us a reaction to your team’s game.

misdreavus79: Not being dead last in the conference has rid Penn State of its contractual obligation to play Boston College in these games, so that’s nice. Getting Clemson is different, but not so hard that it can be chalked up as a loss from the get go. This is an early test that will tell us a pretty good amount on what kind of team Penn State will be next season.

BoilerUp89: I’m sick and tired of playing Florida State. This is the third time in the last five Challenges the two schools have been matched up and the fourth time in the last five years they’ve played each other. I get why it’s a decent matchup. Both programs are two of the few that consistently have good centers and there are a bunch of similarities between the programs. Leonard Hamilton is my favorite ACC coach. But variety is a good thing.

Kind of...: I have no real reaction. UW is rebuilding and, though I had the same thought last year, lightning (i.e. Johnny Davis) doesn’t strike twice (oh, he has a twin brother?). Wake Forest was actually pretty good last year (13-7 in ACC), but lost a lot, so UW should probably win, I guess? Hopefully there’s as much unintentional humor as the last time these two teams met in a revenue sport:

Buffkomodo: Allow me to come in swinging my thinger around and say....PRIMETIME MATCHUP BABY. This is going to be a matchup of two of the top front courts in college basketball next year. Guard play? Meh. Who needs it? This game should be fun. Should be rowdy. Should be expensive. At least it’s at the Hall so we have a chance.


The Pittsburgh Panthers men’s basketball team is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate men’s basketball program of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as “Pitt”, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitt men’s basketball team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays their home games in the Petersen Events Center.

Green Akers: Notre Dame lost their only two players who were any good last year, Paul Atkinson III and Blake Wesley, but MSU hasn’t exactly covered themselves in glory the last couple seasons. If we can’t win this game, it’ll mean MSU is losing 5 or 6 in the noncon season.

RU in VA: Miami is pretty dope. 90% of New Jerseyans retire down to South Florida so they can finally have their Chris Christie-loving Republican votes actually count for something anyway, so - Hakuna Matata.

What’s the best game of the bunch?

misdreavus79: Am I high, or have at least half of these matchups happened already within the past two seasons? I distinctly remember Northwestern/Pitt, Ohio State/Duke, Purdue/Florida State, Michigan State/Notre Dame, and Rutgers/Miami.

So, I’m going with Indiana/North Carolina, because it’s a game that hasn’t been played recently between two teams who are allegedly favorites to win their respective conferences.

BoilerUp89: I think it’s Michigan-Virginia. Michigan should have good talent, although they once again are young and Virginia has a terrific coach. Plus all remember what happened one of the last times Juwan Howard coached against an incredibly slow paced team.

Kind of...: Damn BoilerUp89, I thought I was going to be original with Michigan/Virginia. Some contrasts that could make this watchable. UVa is fighting to regain relevancy. I just kind of feel like UNC might run all over IU, so I’ll go with this too.

Buffkomodo: The obvious choice here is Pitt/Northwestern. One of two things will happen:

  1. The game will be hilariously tight and low scoring because both teams are terrible but one has to win, or
  2. The game will be hilariously high scoring because both teams are terrible.

MNW: “Michigan-Virginia...watchable”.

Honestly, you all deserve to lose each and every one one of those “Buy 1 day-old sandwich, get a day-old sushi roll for 10% off” coupons.

“Michigan-Virginia...watchable.” Goddamn.

Anywho, it’s probably UNC-Indiana for the actual “huh, those teams are decent” factor, but if Syracuse’s defense is as bad as it was in 2021-22, there could be a little fun in the Orange-Illini game.

Green Akers: It occurs to me, not that it should be a surprise, that I have no damn idea what’s going on in ACC hoops other than that UNC returns that Bacon guy and Dook will be gross with talent again.

I don’t need to see ESPN fellate a new coach who hasn’t done anything, so count me in for the 1995-era clash of Armando Bacot vs Trayce Jackson-Davis in UNC/Indiana.


Best game?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Indiana-North Carolina
    (53 votes)
  • 5%
    Purdue-Florida State
    (7 votes)
  • 15%
    (19 votes)
  • 9%
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 23%
    Something else
    (29 votes)
123 votes total Vote Now

What’s the worst game of the bunch?

misdreavus79: Any game that has Rutgers in it is automatically the worst game (but it’s Nebraska/Boston College).

BoilerUp89: If IU wasn’t hosting, I would say their game. But they are so they will have a shot. So I’ll go Northwestern - Pitt. Only degenerates will watch that game. Yes, there is a decent chance I’ll be watching.

Kind of...: Gotta agreed with my Boiler colleague again. Northwestern/Pitt will feature a matchup of two sub-replacement level Coach K disciples. Gripping.

Buffkomodo: Nebraska and Boston College. Literally nobody cares.

MNW: I mean, you know that I want to say Northwestern-Pitt, because honest to God there’s just no point...but Nebraska-Boston College is a true sicko’s paradise. I cannot wait.

Green Akers: We’ve got the low-hanging fruit identified, but keep in mind Michigan at this point is Hunter Dickinson and a bunch of unproven guys. They couldn’t shoot worth a shit last year and are totally retooling, and they’re playing Virginia. Hammer any under you see in that game.

RU in VA: Are you guys all high? It’s clearly Georgia Tech and Iowa. Who is going to watch that absolute shootout?


Worst game?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (8 votes)
  • 21%
    (24 votes)
  • 63%
    Boston College-Nebraska
    (71 votes)
  • 7%
    Something else
    (8 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

Early reaction: Who wins the B1G-ACC Challenge?

misdreavus: I can see the Big Ten taking it 8-6 again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes 7-7.

BoilerUp89: ACC 8-6. It’s going to be a down year for the B1G.

Kind of...: ACC is on an upswing. B1G not so much. 9-5 bad guys.

Buffkomodo: ACC bounces back 10-4.

MNW: Rough set of matchups, but I’m not actually seeing the ACC path to more than 8? (This will age like a fine wine, I’m sure.)

Give the coasties a 2-0 start, peg ‘em back 2-2, Clemson wins, but then the B1G takes at least 23 of the home games remaining on Tuesday. That’s a 4-4 tie. On the final day Duke, FSU, Miami roll it to 7-4 ACC, and I think Indiana’s the pivot game here. Let’s say they ride high with TJD, and it’s a 7-7 smooch of Tom Izzo.


Who wins the B1G-ACC Challenge?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    B1G, 9-5 or better
    (14 votes)
  • 31%
    B1G, 8-6
    (34 votes)
  • 29%
    A 7-7 Izzo smooch
    (32 votes)
  • 19%
    ACC, 8-6
    (21 votes)
  • 5%
    ACC, 9-5 or worse
    (6 votes)
107 votes total Vote Now