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Nov. 27, ACC-Big Ten Challenge
North Carolina vs. Indiana and NC State vs. Michigan will steal most of the spotlight shed on the first night of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. However, Iowa and Virginia Tech will have a chance to make a strong push toward not only a better 2012-13 season, but also a potential NCAA tournament bid.
Iowa, who came on quite strong at the end of last year, plans to further the momentum this year in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have a very talented young frontcourt in sophomore Aaron White and freshman Adam Woodbury. If the Hawkeyes can get consistent contributions out of Roy Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe to support the guys inside, they will beat some very good teams in the Big Ten.
Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is looking to reverse course after a rough season a year ago that saw them tie for last place in the ACC. The Hokies have an outstanding point guard in senior Erick Green. He has averaged 23 points a game in helping Tech get off to a 3-0 start, though the competition stands to get tougher.
For Iowa, a win in Blacksburg would provide the kind of quality nonconference win that eluded them entirely a year ago. If the Hawkeyes end up somewhere around .500 in the Big Ten, which would be on the higher end of what's expected of them, then wins like this would be a must for any NCAA at-large hopes.
For Virginia Tech, it could give the Hokies further confidence heading into games against a pair of Big 12 foes—West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Winning two of the three could mean the Hokies will once again be flirting with the bubble—as they did four straight years prior to last.