At what point does the ACC claim ownership?
For the eighth time in eight seasons, dating to 1999-2000, the ACC emerged on top in its challenge series with the Big Ten. This year the count was 8-3 in favor of the heavyweights, cruiserweights, light heavyweights, and middleweights of the ACC.
Eight of 12 ACC programs have winning records in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Duke edged Indiana at Durham and remains undefeated in the series. Wake Forest, which did not participate this year, has lost but once.
The only ACC schools with losing records in the annual event are Miami (0-2), beaten by two points at Northwestern on Nov. 28, and North Carolina (3-5), a nine-point home victor over top-ranked Ohio State on the 29th.
There may be conference bragging rights involved here, but they are modest. Come season's end, it's the Big Ten that gets the NCAA berths, and with them arguably the greater stature.
Remember, the ACC has won the Challenge each year. Yet, five times in the event's first seven seasons the Big Ten got more NCAA bids than the ACC. The leagues each got the same number of invitations in 2005.
Success in the Challenge offers little specific promise of NCAA participation for victors. Overall only 21 of 40 ACC winners got NCAA berths the same season they beat their Big Ten opponent. That's a shade better than half.
Combined, winners from both leagues fared little better, making the tournament about 56 percent of the time.
|Season||ACC-Big 10||ACC In NCAA||Big 10 In NCAA||Challenge Winners Reaching NCAA|
|2006||6-5||4||6||5 (1 ACC)|
|ACC In Challenge|
|Percent Challenge Winners In NCAA, By School (2000-06)|
|BC||To be determined.|