May 1, 2014, 4:14 PM EST
The matchups for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge were announced on Thursday afternoon. We’ve gone ahead and ranked the 14 games for you in case you feel the need to set your DVR seven months in advance:
1. Duke at Wisconsin: The Big Ten did right by us with the marquee matchup of the challenge. Two of the nation’s top five teams. The favorite in the ACC vs. the favorite in the Big Ten. Perhaps most importantly, arguably the nation’s two best big men — and inarguably the nation’s two best low-post scorers — in Frank Kaminsky and Jahlil Okafor will square off. I’m not going to lie, I’m excited about this matchup already.
CBT Pick: Wisconsin
2. Ohio State at Louisville: Louisville got some great news last month when Montrezl Harrell announced that he would be returning to campus for his junior season. With Chris Jones and Terry Rozier back as well, the Cards jumped up into the national top ten. Ohio State will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode, but with Shannon Scott and Sam Thompson returning, Anthony Lee joining the fray and D’Angelo Russell headlining a good recruiting class, the Buckeyes have the pieces to be a factor in the Big Ten race once again.
CBT Pick: Louisville
3. Iowa at North Carolina: North Carolina got some good news when Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson announced that they would be returning to school. Chapel Hill will also really like incoming freshman Justin Jackson, who will provide a scoring pop from the wing that James Michael McAdoo was never quite able to master. Iowa returns everyone from last season’s team except Roy Devyn Marble, although there are some that believe that may end up being addition by subtraction.
CBT Pick: North Carolina
4. Virginia at Maryland: Well, this is boring. The leagues had a chance to get a rematch from last year’s Sweet 16 thriller between Michigan State and Virginia, but instead decided to send the preseason top 10 Cavs on the road to face their old ACC rival Maryland in the Terps’ first season in the Big Ten. Snore. Hopefully, Maryland doesn’t lose anymore transfers and will be able to live up to their potential this season, which could make this game interesting.
CBT Pick: Virginia
5. Syracuse at Michigan: A rematch of the 2013 Final Four minus much of the intrigue. Both teams will likely be preseason top 25 teams, although that will be based more on reputation than any certainly about these two rosters. Michigan’s back court is loaded but their front court is empty while Syracuse will once again be operating with a single, freshman point guard.
CBT Pick: Michigan
6. Michigan State at Notre Dame: The Spartans lost quite a bit this offseason, but with Branden Dawson, Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice back, Tom Izzo has a nice core to work with. The Fighting Irish should be back in the tournament mix as well, as Jerian Grant will be returning to school.
CBT Pick: Michigan State
7. Indiana at Pitt: It will be interesting to see what happens with Indiana this season, as the program is dealing with quite a bit of turmoil. Pitt should make a return to the NCAA tournament as well.
CBT Pick: Pitt
8. Nebraska at Florida State: The Cornhuskers are going to be the most intriguing team in the Big Ten next season. After the year that they had under Tim Miles in 2013-2014, don’t be surprising to see them crack some preseason top 25 polls. But the Seminoles aren’t going to be pushovers next year, and Nebraska can struggle on the road.
CBT Pick: Florida State
9. Illinois at Miami: Miami loses quite a bit from last season, but with Angel Rodriguez, Sheldan McClellan and Deandre Burnett playing this season, expect the Hurricanes to be back in the NCAA tournament conversation. Illinois will likely be down again this season, but Rayvonte Rice will be one of the best scorers in the conference.
CBT Pick: Miami
10. Minnesota at Clemson: This will be an intriguing matchup of styles, but the Gophers should be the better team after Clemson lost K.J. McDaniels.
CBT Pick: Minnesota
11. N.C. State at Purdue: This matchup would be more interesting if T.J. Warren hadn’t left for the NBA. As is, the Boilermakers should be able to use A.J. Hammons to overwhelm the Wolfpack inside.
CBT Pick: Purdue
12. Georgia Tech at Northwestern
CBT Pick: Georgia Tech
13. Rutgers at Wake Forest
CBT Pick: Wake Forest
14. Virginia Tech at Penn State
CBT Pick: Penn State
Nov 26, 2014, 5:29 PM EST
It’s hard to put too much stake in one loss, but there are a couple of things from this game that we need to keep an eye on.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:24 PM EST
Cameron Biedscheid averaged 6.2 points per game as a freshman at Notre Dame in 2012-13.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:37 PM EST
Joining Cullen Neal on the sideline is Arthur Edwards, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks thanks to a dislocated finger.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:51 PM EST
The importance of this win for Butler cannot be overstated.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:19 PM EST
JayVaughn Pinkston is the leader and go-to guy for Villanova. And he is not their star because … why?
Nov 26, 2014, 12:02 PM EST
Gordon is averaging 10.5 points this season.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:20 AM EST
Not a bad way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend
Nov 26, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
He was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:00 AM EST
Angry John Beilein is the best John Beilein.
Nov 26, 2014, 12:28 AM EST
Pinkston made a couple of huge plays down the stretch.
Nov 26, 2014, 12:10 AM EST
Another busy night of college hoops as the Maui semifinals wrap up and Arkansas gets a statement road win.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:50 PM EST
Maryland pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the young season as they outplayed No. 13 Iowa State for much of the game in front of a pro-Cyclone crowd in Kansas City.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s selflessness during the Maui Invitational will help No. 3 Arizona in the long run
Nov 25, 2014, 10:18 PM EST
As Arizona has struggled to find consistent offense early in the 2014-15 season, the consistency and selfless nature of sophomore forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has allowed Sean Miller to experiment with what works early.
Nov 25, 2014, 7:45 PM EST
Kansas head coach Bill Self is trying to get through to his players by changing starting lineups.
Nov 25, 2014, 6:45 PM EST
The former national champion still has the touch.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:55 PM EST
The Barclays Center Classic doubleheader will air on Friday night on NBC Sports Network.
Nov 25, 2014, 5:20 PM EST
The Friars could be depleted on the perimeter against two tough opponents.
Nov 25, 2014, 4:24 PM EST
Minnesota will take a hit to its back court with this suspension.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:58 PM EST
I hope his joke doesn’t make people ignore the fact the he really felt bad about this.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:43 PM EST
We get some good gauge games on Tuesday night.
- Butler upsets No. 5 North Carolina in Battle 4 Atlantis opener 2
- If No. 12 Villanova doesn’t have a star on their roster, no one told JayVaughn Pinkston 0
- JayVaughn Pinkston’s block gives No. 12 Villanova a win over No. 19 Michigan (VIDEO) 2
- Maryland upsets No. 13 Iowa State as fearless freshmen mix with gritty veterans for balanced effort 3
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s selflessness during the Maui Invitational will help No. 3 Arizona in the long run 0
- Player of the Year Power Rankings: A familiar face on top, but a few surprises behind him 0
- Ricky Doyle secures 70-63 win for No. 19 Michigan over Oregon in Legends Classic 0
- Poll: 54 percent of people think Kentucky beats the 76ers, 54 percent of people are dumb (31)
- Villanova’s win is evidence of why VCU may have peaked as a basketball program (14)
- Michigan’s John Beilein rips ESPN for late tip time during Tuesday’s loss (11)
- Rick Pitino on blow out win: ‘We played four white guys and an Egyptian’ (9)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest top 25: Kentucky reigns, but how far will Kansas, Florida slide? (5)