Well the ACC-Big 10/1 Challenge is upon us.Â What to expect from our
esteemed rivals from the Big 10? Well, let's take a look.
young but talented and
improving. They'll get Tech, who is big inside, but not as great on the
perimeter. Michigan's guards are both freshmen, so hard to tell how they'll
do. They're in the Thriller Dome (actually a reader says it's in the new home of the Hawks, the Phillips Arena) for that one, and the inside game isn't
available with Alvin Jones.
- Michigan State is struggling without Cleaves.Â They
lost to Texas, but came close despite serious foul trouble for Morris
"The Cat" Peterson.
- Minnesota's bench has been decimated. Their
depth at this point is non-existent.Â So from here it looks like
UVa's pressing and quickness vs. Joel Przybilla's inside strength.
- Iowa has been a bit inconsistent since Alford's brilliant debut.Â
They are playing Maryland, which means a running, pressing team vs. a more
disciplined team. Usually Maryland loses those when the talent is equal
- Northwestern-FSU. Normally the smart money goes against Northwestern, but
with O' Neill coaching them it's not smart to bet against them. Our bet is
he took the job specifically because no one has won there in decades.
- Wake is playing Wisconsin in Joel.Â Wisconsin has trouble scoring
under the best of circumstances.Â Both teams play excellent D but only
one has Robert O' Kelley.
- State is playing Purdue at Mackey, which is a tough draw.Â It is that
much more tough since Inge won't be playing.
- Clemson-Penn State.Â The question is can Clemson avoid humiliation?
We don't know much about Penn State, but we know that Clemson, at this
point, is truly awful.Â There's no other word for it.Â On the
bench for Penn State - former Duke assistant Chuck Swenson.
- Duke-Illinois.Â Should be one of the better games. Both teams are
relying on freshmen point guards, and that can always be tricky.
The columnist for the Illinois paper is kind of cocky, particularly
since he predicts a Duke win. Weird column.
Now that the season is underway, and before the games begin, we'd like to
revisit our picks.
- Michigan-Tech. We'll go with Tech, but reluctantly.Â They always are
capable of a bone-headed game, and they are horribly unpredictable. But they
should control the inside. If the guards show up, Tech should win.
- MSU-UNC. We go back and forth on this one, even without Cleaves. But UNC
did well in Hawaii and their backcourt is dynamic. UNC.
- Minnesota-UVa. Lack of depth vs a running team, even a young one, is bad
news.Â We'll take UVa and an oxygen tank.
- Iowa- Maryland.Â Our principle from day one is you have to have
talent to win but talent can't always overcome solid coaching.Â Â
More true for Maryland than most. We'll take Iowa.
- Northwestern-FSU.Â Conference loyalty dictates we pick FSU, but
really it's a tossup in our book.
- Wake-Wisconsin. Two good defensive teams, only one good offensive team.
We'll take Wake.Â
- State-Purdue.Â The loss of Inge isÂ huge in this game.Â Can
State defend well enough to stick it to Purdue?Â Possibly, but we're
going with Purdue.
- Clemson-Penn State. Clemson is so bad right now it might be the worst team
in our ACC memory. Truly bad to this point. Penn State.
- Duke-Illinois.Â Duke has improved a great deal rapidly, and Dunleavy
has elevated his game a great deal. We'll go with Duke, but it will be