After day one of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, the Big Ten once again looks sharp in hopes of winning their fourth straight challenge. Four of the six games went in favor of the Big Ten squads, with Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan winning their contests, while Northwestern and Iowa fell short.
While this ranking may or may not be an indication of how these teams will finish compared to their Big Ten standings, they are the rankings from what I saw during my four plus hours of flipping between ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU on Tuesday evening.
1) Indiana- defeated North Carolina 83-59 at home.
After being tied with four minutes left in the first half, the Hoosiers went on a tear against the young Tar Heel squad. IU got 20 points from Cody Zeller, 19 from both Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey and a 13-point, seven rebound, eight assist effort from Jordan Hulls. If Indiana continues to play at this level, it will be tough for anyone to upset them.
2) Minnesota- defeated Florida State 77-68 on the road.
Not many teams are able to win at Florida State, but the Golden Gophers had no problem doing so. The final score made the game seem closer than it actually was, where four Minnesota starters each scored between 12 and 16 points in a total team effort. Minnesota has now defeated Memphis, Stanford, and Florida State since losing their lone game to Duke.
3) Michigan- defeated North Carolina State 79-72 at home.
Michigan knocked off the preseason favorite from the ACC, but nearly blew a big second-half lead in the late going. Nick Stauskas led the Wolverine scorers with 20 points off the bench, while Trey Burke scored 18 points and tallied a career-high 11 assists. Michigan remains unbeaten and looks as complete as any team in the nation, aside from possibly Indiana.
4) Nebraska- defeated Wake Forest 79-63 on the road.
The Cornhuskers scored 51 second-half points on the road against an exposed Demon Deacon squad. Ogre Andre Almeida double-doubled, with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Ray Gallegos also scored 20 points for himself, while Dylan Talley tallied 14 points and eight boards. This was a positive sign for a Cornhusker squad that fell to Kent State over the weekend.
5) Northwestern- loss to Maryland 77-57 at home.
After winning their Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchups four straight years during the John Shurna era, the Wildcats looked overmatched against Alex Len and his Terrapin company. Maryland, who joins the Big Ten in 2014, held Drew Crawford to just 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting. Reggie Hearn was a bright spot, scoring 19 points, while Dave Sobolewski added 14 in the scoring column.
6) Iowa- loss to Virginia Tech 95-79 at Virginia Tech.
The Hawkeyes had trouble on the defensive end of the court, causing concern for Fran McCaffery, after giving up 46 and 49 points in both halves of a disappointing road loss to an unbeaten Hokie team. Aaron White scored 21 points and pulled in 10 rebounds, while Roy Devyn Marble scored 18, but also assisted on seven baskets and took down seven rebounds.