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ACC-Big 10 Challenge Preview

A quick rundown of the ACC-Big 10 match-ups, which starts tonight and concludes on Wednesday

NCAA Basketball: Maui Invitational-North Carolina at Chaminade Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 18th annual ACC-Big 10 Challenge begins tonight. With the conclusion of the football regular season, the ACC fan base is ready to focus its attention on the conference’s bread and butter. The ACC owns the advantage in the overall series with a 10-5-2 record. However, the Big 10 has won five of the last seven challenges. The Tar Heels hold an overall record of 9-8 in the competition.

This season is on track to be another closely contested series. With six ACC teams and five Big Ten teams ranked in the current AP Poll, the event promises to be entertaining (Florida State and Michigan are tied for 25th). Four games will produce top-25 match-ups. Three of those are top-20 games. One of those is a top-5 contest. There will be no shortage of star power.

Except for Boston College. They will not be participating because the ACC has 15 teams compared to 14 teams for the Big 10. That’s what happens when your basketball team fails to win a single game in conference play.

Entering the season, college hoops fans were salivating over the Duke-Michigan State game. However, MSU’s lackluster start and the injuries to Duke’s freshman triumvirate has tempered expectations. While it will still be a solid test for both teams, it doesn’t have the same potential to be as memorable as it could’ve been. Fortunately, the Heels are there to pick up the slack.

UNC will conclude the event against Indiana, in a re-match of last year’s Sweet 16 contest. Indiana is certain to be looking for revenge. Their recent road loss to Fort Wayne (also known as IPFW) will also provide motivation when both teams take the court. The Heels will most certainly be eager to show the nation that their 7-0 start is not a fluke, and they are truly are national championship contenders. (Yes, every Heels fan knows this….the rest of the country has been a little slow to come around).

Some quick interesting facts:

  • Only two Big 10 teams have a winning record in the Challenge. Minnesota (9-8) and Purdue (9-6)
  • The ACC has 7 teams with a winning record in the Challenge. Wake Forest (11-4), Virginia (10-6), Duke (15-2), Clemson (9-7), Boston College (6-3), UNC (9-8), and Maryland (10-5).
  • Maryland had a 10-5 record when they competed in the ACC.
  • Maryland has an 0-2 record as a member of the Big10.

Below is the weekly schedule. ACC teams are on the left, and Big 10 teams are on the right. Home teams are in bold. All games can be seen on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.

Monday, November 28th

#25 Florida State (5-1) vs Minnesota (6-0)

Wake Forest (5-1) vs Northwestern (4-2)

Tuesday, November 29th

Pittsburgh (5-1) vs Maryland (7-0)

Georgia Tech (4-1) vs Penn State (4-3)

#18 Syracuse (4-1) vs #16 Wisconsin (5-2)

Notre Dame (6-0) vs Iowa (3-3)

N.C. State (5-1) vs Illinois (4-3)

#6 Duke (6-1) vs #24 Michigan State (4-3)

Wednesday, November 30th

#10 Louisville (5-1) vs #17 Purdue (5-1)

Virginia Tech (5-1) vs #25 Michigan (5-1)

Miami (4-2) vs Rutgers (6-0)

#4 North Carolina (7-0) vs #3 Indiana (4-1)

#7 Virginia (6-0) vs Ohio State (6-0)

Clemson (3-2) vs Nebraska (4-2)

** Boston College will not participate this season. Insert your own joke at your leisure.