A Closer Look at Next Season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Posted by Brad Jenkins on May 6th, 2014

Late last week we learned the match-ups for next season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge. When the two major conferences collide again in early December 2014 it will be the 16th year of the made-for-ESPN event. The ACC holds a 10-3-2 edge in the all-time series, but has not won the event in five seasons (2008-09). The league won the first 10 challenges; the Big Ten won the next three (2009-11); and each of the two most recent events have ended in ties. Television networks and times for each game will be announced later, probably in August, but for now let’s take a closer look at the event as a whole and some of the more interesting match-ups.

Monday, December 1

  • Nebraska (19-13, 11-7 B1G, 2-1 Challenge) @ Florida State (22-14, 9-9 ACC, 6-9 Challenge)
  • Rutgers (12-21, 5-13 AAC, 0-0 Challenge) @ Clemson (23-13, 10-8 ACC, 9-5 Challenge)

Previous Challenge Meetings - None

Frank the Tank Presents Interesting Matchup Problems for the Wildcats (Getty)

Frank Kaminsky and Wisconsin will host Duke in the 2014 ACC-Big Ten Challenge. (Getty)

Tuesday, December 2

  • Syracuse (28-6, 14-4 ACC, 1-0 Challenge) @ Michigan (28-9, 15-3 B1G, 5-8 Challenge)
  • Ohio State (25-10, 10-8 B1G, 7-6 Challenge) @ Louisville (31-6, 15-3 AAC, 0-0 Challenge)
  • Pittsburgh (26-10, 11-7 ACC, 1-0 Challenge) @ Indiana (17-15, 7-11 B1G, 5-8 Challenge)
  • N.C. State (22-14, 9-9 ACC, 6-8 Challenge) @ Purdue (15-17, 5-13 B1G, 7-6 Challenge)

Previous Challenge Meetings - 1999 N.C. State 61-59 (@ Purdue); 2004 N.C. State 60-53 (@ N.C. State)

  • Illinois (20-15, 7-11 B1G, 7-8 Challenge) @ Miami (17-16, 7-11 ACC, 2-5 Challenge)
  • Minnesota (25-13, 8-10 B1G, 7-8 Challenge) @ Wake Forest (17-16, 6-12 ACC, 10-3 Challenge)

Previous Challenge Meetings - 2001 Wake Forest 85-79 (@ Wake Forest)

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ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presents Giant Opportunity For Michigan

Posted by Bennet Hayes on December 2nd, 2013

What to Make of Michigan Heading to Duke in the Headliner of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Nobody ever said life after Trey Burke was going to be easy. Despite entering the season with both a top 10 ranking and preseason All-American (again) to lead the way, John Beilein had to know that this group of Wolverines would be a work in progress. Gone was not only the transcendent Burke, but also backcourt mate Tim Hardaway, Jr., a highly accomplished player in his own right. Also of concern: The fact that this year’s preseason All-American, Mitch McGary, entered the season on the mend. The bruising sophomore is recovering from a back injury, and even with a (relatively) healthy back a season ago, he had averaged only 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as he got acclimated to college basketball. Was he really ready to deliver All-American type production? Every team entered this season with question marks, but Michigan faced as many as any of their preseason top-10 cohabitants.

Michigan And Mitch McGary Will Attempt To Reassert Themselves At Cameron Indoor On Tuesday Night

Michigan And Mitch McGary Will Attempt To Reassert Themselves At Cameron Indoor On Tuesday Night

The Wolverines are now seven games into the season, and the top-10 ranking is gone. The same cannot be said for those pesky preseason questions. Michigan is 5-2 on the year, with an overtime victory over Florida State ranking as its lone victory of consequence (seriously, the average Pomeroy rating for the other four Wolverine conquests is 297). The back injury ultimately caused McGary to miss just two games, but his production since returning has hardly been like that of an All-American: 8.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 25 minutes per game. I’m not in the habit of judging a guy off of five post-injury games, but the jury remains out on whether McGary can live up to those expansive preseason expectations.

Nor has a verdict been offered on the Michigan point guard situation. Nobody expected Derrick Walton to become Trey Burke, but the freshman has averaged nearly as many turnovers (2.4 per game) as assists (3.3 per game), while also ceding crunch time minutes to backup Spike Albrecht. In the two Michigan losses (to Iowa State and Charlotte), Walton has averaged just 19 minutes a game. Clearly John Beilein is not ready to fully hand over the reins to the talented youngster, but like McGary, there’s still plenty of time for Walton to grow into his expected role.

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Big Ten Non-Conference Schedule Analysis: Part II

Posted by Brendan Brody on November 6th, 2013

Highlighted by the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the B1G non-conference slate is filled with intriguing match-ups that will the test each team in unique ways. Starting with Nebraska taking on “Dunk City” on opening night, and stretching deep into December, the teams from the conference will all face games ranging from a glorified scrimmage to an absolute test that will determine RPI and seeding in March, and influence the general perception of each team and the league as a whole. What follows is the second of a two part breakdown showing what each team is up against before the league schedule tips off on New Year’s Eve (the first installment can be found here). I’m not going to hypothesize when it comes to tournaments that involve different teams and who they might play; rather, I’m going to just look at games that are definitely going to be played.

Nebraska

Nebraska Will Open Its New Barn Friday Night Against

Nebraska Will Open Its New Barn Friday Night Against Dunk City

  • Biggest Test: @Creighton (12/8): Creighton is where Nebraska wants to be in terms of the scope of basketball in the state of Nebraska. What better way to sway recruits around that region than beating them in their own gym.
  • Other Challenges: UMass (11/21), Miami (FL) (12/4), @Cincinnati (12/28): I’d highlight Cincinnati out of all of these, because Nebraska will have to prove its toughness in this one. The Bearcats always play a rugged brand of basketball where they get after teams defensively, and they hit the boards hard. Nebraska couldn’t shoot straight from outside last year (30.7 percent), and they were only 319th in the country in offensive rebound percentage. The Minutemen are looked as potential challengers in the Atlantic 10, while even though Miami is predicted to have a down year, they still have some experience left over from last year’s ACC championship team.
  • Mid-Major Scare: Florida Gulf Coast (11/8): Without looking at the Vegas line, this might be the only time in history that an Atlantic Sun team would be favored over a B1g team at home. It actually ends up as a pretty good home opener for Nebraska, because after last year’s surprise Sweet Sixteen run, I’m sure there’s a lot more interest in this game then there would have otherwise been. We’ll see whether a new coach with all but two players who played big minutes on that Cinderella squad can knock off its first power conference team on opening night.

Northwestern

  • Biggest Test: UCLA (11/29): Former Iowa coach Steve Alford gets to match wits with Chris Collins in this neutral match-up in Las Vegas. Can Alex Olah be a factor against the Wear twins and a slimmed down Tony Parker inside? If so, they have a shot.
  • Other Challenges: @Stanford (11/14), Missouri (11/28), @N.C. State (12/4): The Missouri game stands out here because of the potential match-up between the combo of Drew Crawford-JerShon Cobb taking on Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkston. Both teams have really good wings, and the key might be whether Dave Sobolewski can win the point guard battle. Stanford and N.C. State would be great wins as the team heads into league play.
  • Mid-Major Scare: @UIC (11/20): This battle for bragging rights in the city of Chicago comes after UIC won 50-44 last season in Evanston. If UIC gets the Wildcats two years in a row, Collins will have to some major problems on the horizon (pun intended). The Flames lost four of their top six scorers from last season, but they get ex-Purdue starter Kelsey Barlow in the mix after a transfer year.

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Big Ten Non-Conference Schedule Analysis: Part I

Posted by Brendan Brody on October 31st, 2013

Highlighted by the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the B1G non-conference slate is filled with intriguing match-ups that will the test each team in unique ways. Starting with Nebraska taking on “Dunk City” on opening night, and stretching deep into December, the teams from the conference will all face games ranging from a glorified scrimmage to an absolute test that will determine RPI and seeding in March, and influence the general perception of each team and the league as a whole. What follows is the first of a two-part breakdown showing what each team is up against before the league schedule tips off on New Year’s Eve. There’s no need to hypothesize when it comes to tournaments that involve different teams and who they might play; rather, let’s just look at games that are definitely going to be played.

The Michigan-Duke game will be one of the highlights on the Big 10 non-conference slate.

These Two Won’t Be Playing, But It Should Still Be A Good Match-Up

Illinois

  • Biggest Test: @ Oregon (12/14). With the news of Joseph Young receiving a waiver to play this season, this will be a difficult test for the Illini on the perimeter. The combination of Young, Dominic Artis, and Damyeon Dotson will cause nightmares for a lot of teams. Luckily, Illinois is deep here as they could go to their bench with freshmen Jaylon Tate, Kendrick Nunn, and wing Malcolm Hill to try and wear the Ducks’ perimeter players down.
  • Other Challenges: @ UNLV (11/26), Georgia Tech (12/3), Missouri (12/21). Highlighted by the annual border battle with Missouri, all of these games are winnable, and going 3-0 here would go a long way toward improving the cache the Illini would have with the selection committee in March. I’m not sold on UNLV or Missouri based on what they lost, and Georgia Tech will be better with Tennessee transfer Trae Golden running the point, but if Illinois can get to these teams with their superior depth, they’ll be able to win all of these.
  • Mid-Major Scare: Valparaiso (11/13). Valparaiso made the NCAA Tournament last year and has a future coaching superstar in Bryce Drew. If Illinois takes them lightly, they will get beaten even though the game is in Champaign.

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ACC Morning Five: 11.29.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on November 29th, 2011

  1. Above the Rim: Harrison Barnes‘ status is in question for Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin. This would obviously be a huge blow to the North Carolina‘s offense as Barnes is one of the few players who creates for himself in the halfcourt. Roy Williams said Barnes sprained his ankle in the loss to UNLV and that PJ Hairston and Reggie Bullock would share his minutes if Barnes had to sit out. I will be surprised if Barnes doesn’t play at all, but I don’t expect him to be 100% or to play his normal minutes.
  2. Charlotte Observer: JP Giglio previews the ACC/Big 10 Challenge as a chance for the ACC to bounce back from a slow start. The best of the conference battles certainly looks to favor the Big 10 this year, but that doesn’t mean most of the match-ups aren’t interesting. Florida State is looking to bounce back after a couple of tough losses with a game at Michigan State; NC State is looking to continue its hot start with a game against Indiana; and Virginia is out to back up its preseason hype with a game against Michigan. We will have more coverage of the Challenge throughout the week.
  3. AnnArbor.com: Speaking of the Michigan – Virginia game, AnnArbor.com takes a look at the keys to the match-up from the Wolverines’ perspective. One thing I’d add: Virginia is going to try to ugly it up, and they cannot play from behind (between a mediocre offense and a slow tempo the Cavaliers can’t play from behind anyone, much less against Michigan).
  4. BC Interruption: The Boston College blog takes a look at the impact of ACC expansion on “Feast Week” tournaments. Essentially, the addition of two more elite programs will make it even harder for most ACC teams to participate in the higher-profile tournaments like the Maui Invitational (and, usually, the NIT Tip-Off). Most tournaments have a four-year “cycle” before a team can participate again. Before adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh only half of the slots were available (with the other two taken by Duke and North Carolina). With the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh those spots will only become harder to come by.
  5. Charlotte Observer: Austin Rivers has been getting plenty of press this season, and a lot of it has been critical. The Duke freshman is taking it in stride: “Those people’s jobs are to critique. The coaches and my teammates are happy with the way I’m playing. It’s sports and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to call ESPN and be like, ‘Hey, can you stop that.’” Also one positive side effect of the (now over) NBA lockout was that Doc Rivers got to watch his son play in Maui.

EXTRA: Speaking of the NBA lockout, CBSSports.com was the first to announce that the lockout would be over with the first games of a 66-game season starting Christmas Day. That gives college basketball another month to grab the attention of NBA fans.

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Set Your Tivo: 11.30.10

Posted by Brian Otskey on November 30th, 2010

***** – quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** – best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** – set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** – set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2013
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game

Brian Otskey is an RTC contributor.

After Virginia’s upset of Minnesota last night, the ACC is off to a good start in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. Will that continue tonight as the games ramp up? We also have a really good Big East/Big 12 clash on tap this evening. All rankings from RTC and all times eastern.

#2 Ohio State @ Florida State – 7:30 pm on ESPN (****)

Chris Singleton Has Been Mostly Outstanding This Season

Ohio State’s last journey to the state of Florida was a rousing success, a 93-75 shellacking of Florida in Gainesville. The Buckeyes face an opponent with a much different style, but also a team that was beat by the same Florida team that lost to Ohio State. We said this was a crucial week for Florida State and now it becomes even more important as the Seminoles are in danger of going 0-2 at home against two quality teams in a span of three days. FSU star Chris Singleton was held in check by the Gators, shooting just 2-12 on the night. Singleton must get back on track for Leonard Hamilton and his team to have any chance against Ohio State, it’s as simple as that. This game features two of the top five teams in defensive efficiency but Florida State’s offense has held them back. The ‘Noles rank #94 in offensive efficiency, a far cry from the Buckeyes lofty #4 perch. Florida State has to have a strong defensive game against an explosive Ohio State offense but it doesn’t stop there. A solid performance on the other side of the ball is imperative. Florida State can play all the defense it wants but they won’t win without better scoring. Michael Snaer had a great game against Florida, going 5-6 from beyond the arc. He’ll need more of that against an Ohio State perimeter that can match or better him with guys like Jon Diebler (48% from three) and David Lighty. Singleton versus Jared Sullinger in the post will be one heck of a matchup. Perhaps the best defensive player in the nation goes up against one of the best offensive post players (62% FG) and whoever gets the edge could lead their team to victory. Two key areas bear watching in this game: turnovers and rebounding, especially on the offensive end for Ohio State. The Buckeyes rank #6 in forcing turnovers while FSU is #276 averaging 18 turnovers a game. If Florida State is turning the ball over that much they can essentially forget about getting a win tonight. Ohio State is #10 in offensive rebounding percentage while the Seminoles are #187, not doing a good job on the defensive boards. Ohio State is the favorite here but it would be hard to imagine them playing so well again away from home. Florida State isn’t desperate but they are in need of a big time win. They may not get it tonight but we think they’ll come out with a strong effort and make this a very interesting game.

#10 Georgetown vs. #10 Missouri (in Kansas City) – 9 pm on ESPNU (****)

Both teams tied for tenth in our latest RTC Top 25 released yesterday, though their playing styles could not be any more different. Missouri uses Mike Anderson’s version of “forty minutes of hell,” acquired from his time spent as an assistant under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas. The Tigers rank #16 in tempo and are second in the nation at forcing turnovers. That could be a problem for a Georgetown team that likes to play at a slower, more deliberate pace. The Hoyas average 15 turnovers per game and rank #222 in turnover percentage. Georgetown gets most of its points behind the three point line from the trio of Chris Wright, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark. All three shoot at least 45% from the arc with Freeman checking in at an astounding 58%. As a unit, Georgetown is the sixth best three point shooting team in the nation. Missouri, #196 in defending the three, is going to need its taller wing players such as 6’6 Kim English (two steals per game) to harass the Hoya shooters with his length and athleticism. Missouri as a whole is not very good at three point defense (#196), but neither are the Hoyas (#189). Marcus Denmon and Michael Dixon Jr. are Missouri’s best deep threats and will need to minimize the pain of the Georgetown three point attack by making shots of their own. Coach Anderson uses a deep bench to rotate fresh players in and out in order to keep the defensive pressure strong throughout the game. No Missouri player averages more than 26 minutes per game. While Georgetown is almost exclusively a perimeter oriented team, they’ve received good contributions from Julian Vaughn and Hollis Thompson up front, combining for 19/14 a game. Missouri holds an edge in the front court behind Ricardo Ratliffe (11/10) and Laurence Bowers (12/7). The Hoya big men need to rebound the ball effectively against a solid Missouri front line that will stay fresh with two other contributors coming off the bench for Anderson. Georgetown is going to need something good off the bench from a few other players in order to keep their starters fresh against the relentless Mizzou pressure. This should be a tremendous basketball game and whoever holds the edge in three point shooting or rebounding should come out on top. Expect a forty minute battle with the outcome not determined until very late.

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ACC – Big 10 Challenge Preview

Posted by rtmsf on December 2nd, 2008

If you haven’t heard, the ACC – Big 10 Challenge starts continues tonight!  We were certifiably swamped yesterday with catch-up, so we’ll sorta forget that the Wisconsin v. Virginia Tech game already happened (brought to you by Trevon Hughes), and spend a few minutes taking a sideways glance at the tonight’s slate of games.

acc-big-ten-challenge-logo

The Challenge is usually an exercise in futility for the Big 10 (0-9 all-time), but we think this year they have a shot (just a shot, mind you) at pulling off a 6-5 upset for the first time in the history of the event.  Remember, thanks to Wisconsin, the league already has a 1-0 lead in one of the key tossup games.  We expect the league to come out of tonight at 3-3 (possibly 4-2) with two home games left.

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Checking in on the… Big 10

Posted by rtmsf on December 2nd, 2008

Josh & Mike of Big Ten Geeks are the RTC correspondents for the Big Ten Conference.

Looking Back

Feast Week was somewhat of a mixed bag for the Big Ten.  Illinois was the only team that captured the title of its tournament, taking home the South Padre Invitational title.  Big Ten Geek favorite Mike Tisdale was named to the all-tourney team.  Penn State, Wisconsin, and Purdue each finished runner-up in their respective tourneys.  So far this season, Penn State sophomore point guard Talor Battle has been ridonkulous – converting on nearly 50% of this three pointers so far this season.  That gives Battle an early lead on the other promising sophomore point guards in the Big Ten (Kalin Lucas, Demetri McCamey, and Michael Thompson).

Wisconsin didn’t look great in the Paradise Jam, looking outmanned against UConn.  So far this season, Wisconsin’s offense has been fine, but the defense is a signficant step-back from last year’s outstanding version.

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