The 10th annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge began with a rarity – a Big Ten victory.
Still, the odds of the Big Ten taking its first-ever Challenge "title" aren't so good. It's going to be close, though.
Wisconsin's last second 74-72 victory (Trevon Hughes delivers!) was just the second time in the event's history that the Big Ten opened the event with a win. Ohio State was the other, in 2005. It's a nice start for a league which has a couple of Final Four contenders and a handful of Sweet 16 teams.
Tuesday figures to be a fun day with probably the best basketball.
Boston College should win easily at home against Iowa. Same for Minnesota against Virginia. The ratings favor Duke on the road vs. Purdue (me too, though it's gonna be tight), while the other two games are toss-ups.
The Blue Devils and Purdue matchup is probably the best game of the week. They're evenly matched in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency (both are right around 112.0-80.0) and love to shoot the 3. If you set up a game for athletic guards and swingmen who could shoot, this would be it.
Sagarin likes Miami to beat Ohio State and Illinois to hold off Clemson, mostly because of a home-court advantage. You ask me, it'll be just as accurate to flip a coin.
Wednesday should feature a massive blowout – Wake Forest beating Indiana –one marquee matchup – North Carolina vs. Michigan State, which the Heels should win – and one massively entertaining game in Michigan vs. Maryland. (Penn State at Georgia Tech and Florida State at Northwestern? Eh…)
The marquee game could be over quickly if UNC finds its rhythm early on, which is why Maryland-Michigan may be the more entertaining game to watch. John Beilein's Wolverines have already beaten UCLA, but the Terps were dynamite vs. Michigan State. Not sure what to expect except a good game.