Home > Current Updates, Team News > Bracket Bits: Inside the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Bracket Bits: Inside the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

dave1Ask someone which ACC-Big Ten Challenge game they are most looking forward to and you’ll likely hear a common answer: Duke at Wisconsin.  That’s certainly the headliner, with two projected No. 1 seeds battling at the Kohl Center.

But let’s dig a bit deeper – because barring a collapse, both the Blue Devils and Badgers will be Dancing as high seeds.  This is a much more important event for teams like Florida State, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and NC State.  Let’s take a look:

Nebraska at Florida State – The Seminoles have staggered out of the gate, at one point losing three straight to Northeastern, Providence, and Massachusetts.  A victory over Nebraska would begin to rebuild a non-conference resume that finds a victory over Manhattan as its best asset.  For the Huskers, who dropped an OT decision at Rhode Island, a road win at FSU would build some momentum ahead of a date with rival Creighton on Sunday.

Pittsburgh at Indiana – Both teams have been sporadic in the first couple of weeks.  Pitt beat Kansas State in Maui, but the Panthers were also dominated by San Diego State and lost to Hawaii on its way to the Invitational.  Coming off a victory over Southern Methodist (SMU), Indiana dropped a home decision to Eastern Washington.  At least Pittsburgh has challenged itself away form home.  IU has yet to leave Bloomington.

NC State at Purdue – At the moment, both the Wolfpack and Boilermakers would be “bubble” teams.  The same could be true in March.  Thus, this tussle in West Lafayette is one worth tracking.

Michigan State at Notre Dame – It’s been an okay start for both squads … but there are probably more long-term questions about Notre Dame – such as, can the Irish survive a rugged ACC gauntlet?  Given that – and with the game in South Bend – it might be a little more important for the Irish.  On the flip side, Michigan State has dropped its two biggest games to date – Duke and Kansas – leaving Marquette as the Spartans’ best win.  So there should be at least a little sense of urgency for MSU, too.

Illinois at Miami-FL – Although both the Illini and Hurricanes made our preseason bracket, neither was, or is, a lock to make the Field of 68.  It helps that Illinois posted a win over Baylor in Las Vegas and Miami opened with a come-from-behind victory at Florida.  But another signature non-conference win would help either’s resume.

Enjoy the Challenge.  It should be fun.

Categories: Current Updates, Team News
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