May 14, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT
Earlier on Monday afternoon, the matchups for the 14th ACC-Big Ten Challenge were announced, and while we ended up with a couple of gems, we also got handed a couple of duds. Here is a rundown of the most watchable and the least watchable games, in quick preview form:
- No. 13 North Carolina at No. 1 Indiana (Nov. 27th): This is a pretty easy pick as the best game of the event. Two of the nation’s premier programs squaring off in November. If this game had happened one year earlier, we would have been given a chance to see Tyler Zeller take on little brother Cody Zeller. Indiana is likely to be the No. 1 team in the country come November, but UNC returns quite a bit of talent and brings in another great recruiting class. Seeing the younger Zeller go up against James Michael McAdoo will be a treat. This will likely be our first chance to gauge whether the Heels are going to be in a bit of a rebuilding season or if they can compete for the ACC title.
- No. 6 NC State at No. 5 Michigan (Nov. 27th): NC State will be the favorite in the ACC heading into the season, thanks in large part to the decision of CJ Leslie to return to school for his junior year. Michigan may not be the favorite in the Big Ten, but they will be a legitimate contender for the Final Four thanks to Trey Burke’s decision to return to school. Both teams will also be bolstered by talented recruiting classes. Hard to believe that the second best matchup in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge is between NC State and Michigan. Is it the late 1980′s?
- No. 8 Ohio State at No. 15 Duke (Nov. 28th): This is a rematch of last year’s contest, which Ohio State won by 22 points. Next year will be different, however. Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Austin Rivers are all gone, and this season the game will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium. What this game should end up being is a good gauge to see just how relevant both teams will be.
- No. 25 Minnesota at Florida State (Nov. 27th): Minnesota not only gets Trevor Mbakwe back for a sixth-year in 2012-2013, but they also return the majority of a young and talented roster. The Gophers will be a sleeper in the Big Ten. The same can probably be said about the Seminoles, who will once again have a big front line, a tough defense and a couple of talented back court players in Ian Miller and Michael Snaer. This will be a nice test for Minnesota, who will be playing a road game against a team that would fit in perfectly in the Big Ten.
- No. 9 Michigan State at Miami (Nov. 28th): After barely, missing the 2012 NCAA tournament, Miami will return Durand Scott, Shane Larkin, Reggie Johnson and Kenny Kadji, which should be enough to get them into this year’s dance. It will also make them a tough road test for Michigan State, who will be looking for a way to replace all-everything forward Draymond Green. Getting Branden Dawson healthy would be a good way to start.
- Purdue at Clemson (Nov. 28th): Clemson loses their top two scorers and returns no one of significance in the paint, unless Milton Jennings somehow learns to become a relevant interior presence. Purdue loses Robbie Hummel, but Matt Painter has a solid core of youngsters on his roster. The Boilermakers won’t have much size, either, but if they can somehow figure out a way to defend better than they did last season, they could once again earn a trip to the Big Dance.
- Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin (Nov. 28th): Virginia loses Mike Scott to graduation. Wisconsin loses Jordan Taylor to graduation. Both teams plays a plodding, half-court style and struggle to score in the 60′s. Yay! There will be some interesting storylines, however: Tony Bennett, who coaches Virginia, is the son of Wisconsin coaching legend Dick Bennett.
- Maryland at Northwestern (No. 27th): This is when the games start getting a bit ugly. Maryland may have a bright future under Mark Turgeon, but with Terrell Stoglin leaving school, the Terps still have a long way to go before they are back to the good old days of being an ACC contender. And Northwestern? Well, their history speaks for itself, and losing John Shurna to graduation certainly won’t help matters at all.
- Georgia Tech at Illinois (Nov. 28th): Georgia Tech is in full-on rebuilding mode under second-year head coach Brian Gregory. Illinois is rebuilding as well, but at least new head coach John Groce as some talent on his roster — DJ Richardson, Brandon Paul, a couple of quality recruiting classes back-to-back.
- Iowa at Virginia Tech (Nov. 27th): Back in April, this game had some potential. Losing Matt Gatens will hurt, but Fran McCaffery has a solid core of talented youngsters on his roster. And on the strength of a couple of talented recruits and point guard Erick Green, Seth Greenberg looked like he was starting to get the Hokie program rebuilt. But Greenberg was fired, Montrezl Harrel decommitted and Dorian Finney-Smith transferred. So much for that.
- Nebraska at Wake Forest (Nov. 27th): Wake Forest has been a train wreck under Jeff Bzdelik, and while Tim Miles may eventually get things turned around at Nebraska, it will take some time for that program to become relevant. When these two played last year, the final was 55-53. Thrilling.
- Boston College at Penn State (Nov. 28th): I’d rather watch a marathon of “Say Yes to the Dress”.
May 21, 2013, 9:52 PM EDT
Butler will begin play in the Big East next season with Hinkle Fieldhouse, its home floor for more than 80 years under renovations that will cost up to $34 million dollars. The university believes the renovations will be complete around November 2014. “The important role our athletic programs have had within Butler’s strategy and national…
May 21, 2013, 8:07 PM EDT
AMHERST, Mass. — In the Class of 2014, one player who should continue making a name for himself is 7-foot-2 center Paschal Chukwu. He is fresh off his junior season at Fairfield College Preparatory School (Conn.), leading the Jesuits to the championship game of the Class LL. Chukwu is currently on the AAU circuit with Connecticut Basketball…
May 21, 2013, 6:47 PM EDT
After spending one year on the coaching staff at LSU, long-time assistant Robert Kirby is once again leaving the SEC, this time to join Josh Pastner and the Memphis Tigers. Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune reports that the first-year LSU assistant resigned as an assistant coach on Monday night in order to take a similar position…
May 21, 2013, 6:02 PM EDT
Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins wrapped up a great career with the Fighting Irish earlier this spring. Following her graduation from the University Notre Dame on Sunday, her sports agency, Roc Nation Sports — founded by Jay-Z — rewarded her with a Mercedes Benz. Got surprised with a new mercedes! Thanks so muchto Jay and…
May 21, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
The Connecticut back court was already in good shape with the return of Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun. On Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Ollie added to his guard depth with George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah. This news came according to CBSSports.com, who confirmed the transfer through a source. Kromah is graduating from George Washington,…
May 21, 2013, 3:16 PM EDT
The field for the Legends Classic has been announced. Pittsburgh highlights the field and will be joined by Stanford, Houston and Texas Tech. Each of the four teams will host a pair on games on campus prior to going to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the semifinals and the finals. The final two rounds…
May 21, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT
Montana announced on Tuesday that Washington transfer Martin Breunig would be transferring into the program. “We are very excited about signing Martin Breunig at the University of Montana,” head coach Wayne Tinkle said in a statement. “He’s a strong, athletic post player, and he really adds good size and strength to our front line.” “We…
May 21, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT
Kevin Stallings isn’t too happy about Sheldon Jeter’s decision to transfer. According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Vanderbilt head coach has blocked his former player from transferring to Pitt next season. Jeter is a graduate of Beaver Falls HS and announced over the weekend that he would be leaving the Commodores to…
May 21, 2013, 11:56 AM EDT
Jim Boeheim is a curmudgeon. He’s a grumpy old man that couldn’t possibly care any less about what anyone thinks of him, whether it be a media member, an opposing coach or an NBA team. He will, quite literally, say whatever he wants about whoever he wants whenever he wants. And I love it. In…
May 21, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT
Around two years ago, Bruce Pearl was fired as the University of Tennessee’s head coach stemming from lies that he told NCAA investigators that were looking into relatively minor infractions. Pearl had hosted Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft at his house for a barbecue during a recruiting visit and a picture of him was…
May 21, 2013, 10:25 AM EDT
There are not many coaches out there that have it as good as Rick Barnes. He’s the head coach of the men’s basketball team for the most recognizable university in the state of Texas which just so happens to have one of the richest athletic departments in the country. And that athletic department also doesn’t…
May 20, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
With Marcus Smart making the decision to come back for his sophomore season, paired with other key players and a solid recruiting class, Oklahoma State is threatening to be one of the favorites for a Final Four berth next season. Memphis loses studs like Tarik Black and Adonis Thomas, but return Joe Jackson and bring…
May 20, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT
Looks like Juan Anderson had second thoughts about leaving Marquette, because he’s headed back to the Golden Eagles’ program. Anderson had announced he was leaving the program last week. The junior-to-be has played sparingly in his two seasons on campus, and originally wanted to transfer to be closer to home. Turns out he would rather…
May 20, 2013, 7:28 PM EDT
Mike Rice lost his job at Rutgers by repeatedly physically and mentally abusing his players. And it looks like he’s trying to get help with it. A report from ESPN.com’s Andy Katz said that Rice has spent the past two weeks with former NBA guard John Lucas at his rehabilitation center in Houston getting counseled…
May 20, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
Bill Self might be challenging Rick Pitino for the title of “best college basketball offseason”. At least from a coaching perspective. Less than a week after top prep player Andrew Wiggins committed to the Jayhawks, Self got another big commitment, this one of a different one-year variety, as former Memphis forward Tarik Black has committed…
May 20, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT
Justin Tuoyo’s next stop is with a familiar face. The sophomore-to-be will be transferring to Chattanooga, where he will be reunited with Will Wade, who took over for with the Mocs after spending the past four seasons on Shaka Smart’s staff at VCU. The 6-9 Tuoyo averaged 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in his lone…
May 20, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT
Recently, the big trend has been to redesign a team’s home court with a cool graphic. Florida International recently pulled it off with a beach theme, Long Beach State did the same a few years ago. Oregon seemed to be one of the originators (as Oregon can be with this sort of stuff). Add George…
May 20, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT
A big announcement came today for Sacred Heart and Conference hoops as a whole as word came out that Dave Bike will retire as head coach after 35 years at the helm. His replacement has apparently already been found in assistant coach Anthony Latina. A news conference is expected sometime next week. Bike took over…
May 20, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT
There may not be a rivalry in all of college basketball more unique than the Battle of the Boulevard, which pits Belmont against Lipscomb, two schools that are located all of 2.7 miles apart on Belmont Boulevard in Nashville, TN. It dates back to 1953, and over the course of the last 60 years, the two…
May 20, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT
Dominic Woodson no longer plans to attend Baylor in the fall, according to multiple reports. Woodson was rated as the No. 80 recruit in the country, and the No. 9 center in the Class of 2013, by Rivals. But with Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson both opting to return to school, and with Rico Gathers…
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