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ACC Roundup-Normalcy Restored

The ACC was clearly better.

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Ohio State v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 30: Jae'Sean Tate #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes dribbles the ball against Isaiah Wilkins #21 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on November 30, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Cavaliers defeated the Buckeyes 63-61.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

There was only one surprise in Wednesday’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge action bout it was a good one: Indiana really took UNC to the woodshed, especially in the first half, winning 76-67.

There was never any doubt about who was the better team. As a matter of fact, it reminded us of the game a few years ago where IU upset Kentucky. That crowd was that good, that team was that on fire. It was a beautiful, stunning performance.

Just not for the Heels.

UNC shot just 39.3% to IU’s 48.1%. Indiana outplayed UNC pretty much everywhere but particularly inside. There was no match energy wise.

After the game, Roy Williams continued his tradition of insulting fans and said that “I'd like to play in front of a crowd like that in the Smith Center every night other than the frickin' Duke game."

Hey, they could always go back to pumping in crowd noise.

The other casualty? UNC’s recent reputation. Indiana put a pin in that balloon.

Everyone else won to give the ACC a solid 9-5 Challenge victory.

Most of the wins were pretty close too. Sure, Miami won by 12 but that’s Rutgers. Twelve is a disappointment.Louisville beat Purdue by just seven.

Otherwise though, Virginia beat Ohio State by two, Clemson knocked off Nebraska by two and Virginia Tech took Michigan by three.

The best win though was Virginia Tech’s. Winning on the road at a big-time school like Michigan? Would never have happened when Seth Greenberg was in charge. And like several other teams, the Hokies went down early before coming back.

They had to earn it, in other words.

Surprisingly, so did Virginia. Ohio State gave them fits in the first half but UVA cracked down defensively and crawled back into it.

Clemson had to earn its win too, but it wasn’t nearly as smooth. The Tigers guards (mostly) freelanced on offense late and drove recklessly and didn’t take advantage of the talents of Jaron Blossomgame.

Still, it worked out: Clemson hit key fouls shots and held Nebraska to 5-24 down the stretch. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Tigers came through.

Purdue has a massive front court - Isaac Haas is listed at 7-2 and 290, while Caleb Swanigan is 6-9 and 250.

Louisville’s bigs racked up 37 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Additionally, the Cards were much quicker than Purdue’s giants.

And of course Miami won - they played freakin’ Rutgers, the biggest train wreck on the East Coast.

Don’t read much into it.

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