Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big 10/ACC Challenge Recap Part II

Virginia Tech 70, Iowa 64
Not much to say about this one.  It's possible Malcolm Delaney and Virginia Tech could be a middle-of-the-pack ACC team, but doesn't appear likely at this point.  Iowa will be lucky not to finish last in the Big 10 the way they're playing right now.

Illinois 76, Clemson 74
One of the two real surprise outcomes of the challenge.  Illinois showed alot of toughness and poise to make that incredible comeback in the 2nd half, and it will serve them well for the rest of the season.  Clemson looks like they still aren't ready to get over the hump, and will likely yet again be a first week casualty in the NCAA tournament.

Boston College 62, Michigan 58
This is the other big surprise.  Michigan has been a huge disappointment so far, with 3 straight losses to teams not projected to make the NCAA field at the start of the year.  BC has road wins over Providence and Michigan, but they also have losses to St. Joseph's and Northern Iowa.  Just like last year, their fate will be decided in ACC play.

Miami 63, Minnesota 58
Miami has been one of the surprises of the early season, defeating South Carolina and Minnesota en route to an 8-0 start.  The Hurricanes will likely enter ACC play undefeated, as the rest of the non-conference schedule is cupcake city.  The difficult part of Minnesota's non-conference schedule is over, but they only managed a 1-3 record against potential tournament teams.  They'll have to get the job done in Big 10 play if they want to make the big dance.

Wisconsin 73, Duke 69
The Badgers picked up the biggest win of anyone in this challenge.  The Badgers already have victories over Duke, Maryland, and Arizona, and that takes alot of pressure off of them entering Big 10 play.  Duke is still one of the frontrunners in the ACC, but they have a long way to go if they want to get past the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.

Ohio State 77, Florida State 64
The Buckeyes are establishing themselves as the 3rd best team in the Big 10, and should compete for a top 4 seed.  Florida State has been a head-scratching team so far.  They've looked terrible in road losses to Florida and Ohio State, yet they managed to win the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.  They'll be a team to watch in conference play, as they could realistically finish anywhere from 3rd to 9th in the ACC.

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