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An Early Look At The Challenge Pairings

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With the ACC-Big Ten Challenge pairings announced, how does it look this far out?

Here's our first prediction. As always, we'll revise these a few times before the actual games.

Indiana will be favored over UNC, but we're not sure about that yet. Michigan will give State fits, but FSU should beat Minnesota. Maryland will be young but we think they can beat Northwestern as long as they're patient.

We'll have to come back to Virginia Tech-Iowa as we know nothing about Iowa's team.

Nebraska is usually pretty lame and Wake's talent should be better, not to mention chemistry, so we'll take the Deacs there.

We'll take Duke in Durham. Coach K always says not to think of revenge, but we have to think the returning Devils would like to play better against the Buckeyes than they did in Columbus last season.

Wisconsin will no doubt have half a dozen seven foot Swedes and UVa won't, so we'll take the Badgers.

Wow, Michigan State at Miami. The normal thing is to take the Spartans, but here's the thing: they always start slow. Meanwhile, Miami has some serious talent and a presumably healthy Reggie Johnson. Plus Jim Larranaga has had some time to get his points across. We'll take Miami in an upset.

Our temptation would be to take Purdue over Clemson, but they won't have Robbie Hummel and Littlejohn is a great, great pit. So tentatively, we'll take the Tigers here.

We'll have to revisit Tech at Illinois later, as we know very little about the Illini and what their new coach has to work with.

BC at Penn State is similar, but they have a coaching edge so we'll fly with the Eagles.

If that were to be correct, the ACC would win at least eight.

Tue, Nov 27

  • North Carolina at Indiana
  • NC State at Michigan
  • Minnesota at Florida State
  • Maryland at Northwestern
  • Iowa at Virginia Tech
  • Nebraska at Wake Forest

Wed, Nov 28

  • Ohio State at Duke
  • Virginia at Wisconsin
  • Michigan State at Miami
  • Purdue at Clemson
  • Georgia Tech at Illinois
  • Boston College at Penn State
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