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ACC-Big Ten Challenge Predictions

This year it’s especially hard

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 02 NC State at Duke
Jordan Goldwire is excited about the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Since the ACC-Big Ten Challenge starts on Tuesday, there are no games on Monday. We always give prediction a shot and it’s hit-or-miss for us honestly, like most people. This year though?

Fuggetaboutit. There’s not even really a homecourt advantage.

Don’t get us wrong, we’ll give it a shot, but with the way this season is so far it’s impossible for anyone to have confidence in their picks.

So here goes nuttin.

Tuesday’s Schedule:

  • Purdue @ Miami || 5:00 pm || ESPN2
  • BC @ Minnesota || 7:00 || ESPNU
  • UNC @ Iowa || 7:30 || ESPN
  • Ohio State @ Notre Dame || 7:30 || ESPN2
  • Penn State @ Virginia Tech || 9:00 || ESPNU
  • Illinois @ Duke || 9:30 || ESPN
  • Syracuse @ Rutgers || 9:30 ESPN2

Wednesday’s Schedule:

  • Maryland @ Clemson || 5:00 || ESPN2
  • Louisville @ Wisconsin || 7:15 || ESPN
  • NC State @ Michigan || 7:15 || ESPN2
  • Georgia Tech @ Nebraska || 7:15 || ESPNU
  • Michigan State @ Virginia || 9:15 || ESPN
  • Indiana @ Florida State || 9:15 || ESPN2
  • Pitt @ Northwestern || 9:15 || ESPNU

Purdue at Miami: See what we mean? Normally we’d default to Purdue but they haven’t been great. Miami has been good but they’re missing Sam Waardenburg. However their backcourt is potentially great so we’ll take the ‘Canes.

  • BC at Minnesota. BC has played a tougher schedule and it’s not close in that regard. Very reluctantly we’ll go with the Eagles. Probably a mistake.
  • UNC at Iowa. Wow! Luke Garza is going nuts. He’s averaging 34 ppg and about 10 boards. UNC has a million big guys for him to shred. Can he? He’s looking great. Have to take the Hawkeyes here because of his brilliant start.
  • Ohio State at Notre Dame. The Irish only went seven deep against Detroit Mercy. Ohio State is very well coached. We’ll take the Buckeyes in this one.
  • Penn State at Virginia Tech. The Hokies are looking good early. Not bailing now. Plus Penn State is breaking in an emergency new coach. So we’ll take Mike Young’s team here.
  • Illinois at Duke. We don’t bet against Duke but Mark Williams, if he starts, is going to have his hands full against 7-0/285 lb. Kofi Cockburn and guard Ayo Dosunmu is putting up 23.8 ppg and 6.2 apg which ought to keep Jordan Goldwire busy.
  • Syracuse at Rutgers. The ‘Cuse has personnel issues due to injuries and Covid so we’ll have to go with the Scarlet Knights here.
  • Maryland at Clemson. The Tigers are impressive so far and Maryland? They’ve played no one. So we’ll take Clemson just for that. Oh and they have a better coach too.
  • Louisville at Wisconsin. We might consider Louisville but Wojo pissed the Badgers off this weekend and there’s nothing worse than a bunch of pissed-off Badgers. Covid. No game.
  • NC State at Michigan. Normally we’d pick State to lose in the Challenge. But we’re impressed with the Pack so far so we’ll go out on a limb on this one. Covid. No game.
  • Georgia Tech at Nebraska. It’s getting tricky now. Yes, GT upset Kentucky but even Kentucky fans say Kentucky sucks right now and Tech has generally sucked this season. But Nebraska’s not great either. Well they might be but the schedule sucks. As bad as UK is, they’re way better than anyone Nebraska has played. But is a Tech letdown possible? Uh, yeah. We’re going with that. Update. Nebraska has some real issues right now.
  • Michigan State at Virginia. The Spartans are playing well early and the Cavaliers are not? WTF? Where is Hal? I’m sorry Tony, we can’t do that. I’m sorry Tom, your team isn’t programmed to play well early. Can Virginia make someone on the Michigan State team cry? It wouldn’t be the first time. Actually, that should be what Virginia students wait for, not a sub-50 game. Tears = free biscuits. We’ll take Virginia in a tight one.
  • Indiana at Florida State. Mark this down: Scottie Barnes is going to take someone - maybe more than one someone - hostage for 40 minutes. The announcers will run out of descriptors and will have to call in Dick Vitale for some PTA - prime time announcing, baby! Seriously, watch Barnes. He’s going to be good. FSU should take the Hoosiers.
  • Pitt at Northwestern. Unless we’re mistaken, this if the first time that former teammates have faced off in the Challenge and Jeff Capel vs. buddy Chris Collins also means three former Duke assistants are coaching in this event and while that may have happened before with these two plus Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, we’re pretty sure no one else has done it. Game-wise? We’re going with Pitt. Capel has mentioned some frustration with his team’s effort but they're still young. They’re also talented, versatile and athletic and that’s probably enough to beat Northwestern.