Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE ALL TIED UP 3-3

While many prognosticators are predicting that the Big Ten may have a break out year and finally win the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, after last night it’s all tied up at 3-3.

Penn State got the B10 off to an early lead with a win over Virginia. The home loss last year’s N.I.T. Champs looked like a mismatch on paper and turned out to be one on the court as well.

Maryland is nothing if not inconsistent. This leads to more yelling by Terps’coach Gary “Speed Stick” Williams. If Gary ain’t yelling, it ain’t basketball season. When Vasquez and Milbourne are on, as they were last night scoring 42 points between them, the Terps win. However, one should note that Indiana isn’t what it used to be going 1-17 in conference and 6-25 last year.

Joining the ACC has certainly been a benefit to Seth Greenberg and the Virginia Tech Hokies. While they haven’t had a breakout year just yet, they have competed for the regular season title and been in the Big Dance. Last night they beat a mediocre Iowa team that was not much better than Indiana last season – 5-13 in conference, and 15-17 overall.

On some level, Ol’ Roy and the Tar Heels own Izzo and the Spartans. Last night, the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Champions cruised along with a double digit lead before the Spartans made a late run to make it interesting. While Larry Drew II isn’t Ty Lawson just yet, he gets better every game as does Super Soph Ed Davis who was pretty good already. Suffice to say, UNC’s depth is simply mind boggling.

Tonight will tell the tale as five more games take place. Obviously, we don’t study Big 10 hoops so we have merely included last year’s records and the Vegas spread as some frame of reference.

Illinois (B10 11-7, 24-10) @ NO. 19 CLEMSON (-4), 7:15 PM, TV: ESPN

Minnesota (9-9, 22-11) @ MIAMI (-2), 7:15 PM, TV: ESPNU

BOSTON COLLEGE @ Michigan (-6) (9-9, 21-14), 7:30 PM, TV: ESPN2

NO. 5 DUKE (-3.5) @ Wisconsin (10-8, 20-13), 9:15 PM, TV: ESPN

FLORIDA STATE @ No. 11 Ohio State(-7) (10-8, 22-1), 9:30 PM, TV: ESPN2

There are twelve teams in the ACC and only eleven in the Big Ten, so Georgia Tech is out of the mix this year. The Yellow Jackets host Sienna tonight.

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