Big Ten-ACC Challenge 2012 Schedule: Picking Wednesday's Winners
Tuesday saw the 14th annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge kick off with six games, and we've got six more on tap for Wednesday, highlighted by two top-five ranked teams squaring off at 9:30 p.m. ET in No. 4 Ohio State and No. 2 Duke.
An impressive showing by No. 3 Michigan has college basketball fans primed for another fantastic night of basketball.
Here are my game picks:
Virginia (4-2) at Wisconsin (4-2)
I really like Wisconsin playing at home here.
The Badgers are averaging 10 more PPG than the Cavaliers and have a lot more pieces to the puzzle than VIrginia.
Led by senior big man Jared Berggren (15.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG) and junior guard Ben Brust (11.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG), look for Wisconsin to outrebound and outscore the Cavs.
Because Virginia has lost to far more inferior teams than Wisconsin has, I like the Badgers at home.
Purdue (2-3) at Clemson (4-1)
Purdue is not playing good basketball right now, losing two out of its previous three, which is why I like the Tigers here.
Milton Jennings, Devin Booker and K.J. McDaniels are all averaging double-digit scoring and shooting better than 50 percent from the field to lead Clemson.
Terone Johnson and D.J. Byrd lead the Boilermakers in scoring but aren't shooting well from the floor, which is what will be the biggest factor in the outcome of this game.
I'll ride with Clemson before the home crowd.
No. 13 Michigan State (5-1) at Miami (3-1)
As much as I'd love to take the upset and go with Miami, I'm not that stupid.
Michigan State already beat a fantastic Kansas squad while Miami has yet to prove itself against a worthy opponent.
The Spartans aren't going to wow you on offense, but what they are going to do is play pressure defense and force Miami shooters into bad shots and turnovers.
Despite a dominant Hurricanes win in their last game, I'm saying it's all Michigan State here.
Georgia Tech (4-1) at No. 22 Illinois (7-0)
When I think of this matchup, I think of it as the Washington Wizards vs. the Miami Heat. In other words, it's going to be ugly.
Illinois is going to utilize its high-powered offense—No. 29 in the nation at 80.1 PPG—and score all over the Yellow Jackets.
I'm looking at Brandon Paul to score in the mid-20s and to be watching the last portion of the second half from the bench as Illinois easily cruises to victory over Georgia Tech.
Boston College (2-4) at Penn State (3-2)
This is my least favorite matchup of the night, as neither of these squads are going to make you jump out of your seat.
Nonetheless, I think Penn State is the better team and will win this game.
Even without scoring leader Tim Frazier (h/t AOL), I like the Nittany Lions' chances with D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall leading the way.
It could be ugly, but I'll go with PSU.
No. 4 Ohio State (4-0) at No. 2 Duke (6-0)
In this premier matchup of the night, I'm rolling with the Dukies.
Mason Plumlee is going H.A.M. this season, averaging a double-double (19.7 PPG, 10 RPG) while Seth Curry is contributing a cool 17 PPG for a Blue Devils offense that averages roughly 78 PPG.
As for Ohio State, I think they rely a little too much on Deshaun Thomas and have yet to be tested this season, whereas Duke already defeated Kentucky by a respectable seven points.
This game will be close, but Duke will come out on top to keep its undefeated streak alive.
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