College Basketball: Preview and Predictions for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Day 2
The first night of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge wrapped up with the Big Ten on top of the ACC 4-2. That means the Big Ten only needs to win three of tonight's six games to win the challenge for the fourth straight year.
Tonight's action is once again going to be great and is headlined by a battle of Top-Five teams. Here is a preview of the final six games in the 2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Virginia at Wisconsin, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Virginia Cavaliers are looking to make their second straight NCAA Tournament this season, a feat they have not accomplished since making consecutive trips in 1993 and 1994. Tonight would go a long way in helping them reach that goal. They are on the road against a tough Big Ten opponent in the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Badgers are 4-2 coming into Wednesday, but their two losses have come against very tough ranked opponents in Florida and Creighton. Junior guard Ben Brust and senior forward Jared Berggren will be too much for the Cavaliers to overcome on the road.
Wisconsin 68 Virginia 62
Purdue at Clemson, 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU
The Purdue Boilermakers have been to the NCAA Tournament the past six seasons, but that streak appears to be in great jeopardy with the team's 2-3 start. Things will not get any easier for Purdue as they will be facing off against a very good Clemson team.
The Tigers have begun the season 4-1, their lone loss coming against a hard-fought battle with Gonzaga. They will look to add another win to their resume against Purdue on Wednesday night. Look for Clemson to come away with a win in a hard-fought defensive battle.
Clemson 66 Purdue 59
No. 13 Michigan State at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
In what is likely the biggest mismatch of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, 5-1 Michigan State travels to Miami to take on a team that has lost to Florida Gulf Coast this season.
The Spartans bring in a strong guard combo led by Keith Appling and Gary Harris and have a strong inside presence with Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne. Michigan State will have absolutely no trouble with the Hurricanes.
Michigan State 78 Miami 56
Georgia Tech at No. 22 Illinois, 9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Fighting Illini have been one of the most surprising teams this season. Everyone knew the talent was there for Illinois, but the team had a complete collapse at the end of last season that led to head coach Bruce Weber being fired.
John Groce now leads the Illini, and his team brings a high-pressure defense along with a prolific offense. Illinois is an interesting team. We know they are good, but we do not know what their ceiling is.
They should have no problem tonight against Georgia Tech though.
Illinois 82 Georgia Tech 64
Boston College at Penn State, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU
This is a matchup between two teams who are at the bottom of their respective conferences.
Boston College showed some potential against Baylor earlier this season, but they have dropped games against some very mediocre teams this season.
Penn State is in the same situation as Boston College, but they managed to slip out of some close games with victories. The only thing I can go with here is the home-court advantage. Neither team is very good, but Penn State is at home and appears to be a little further on the rebuilding track than Boston College is.
Penn State 64 Boston College 56
No. 4 Ohio State at No. 2 Duke, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The matchup between Ohio State and Duke is the headline matchup between the ACC and the Big Ten. The Buckeyes bring one of the nation's top teams to Cameron Indoor Stadium but have really yet to be tested this season.
Duke on the other hand has already knocked off Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota and VCU. The Blue Devils appear to be well on their way to making another strong run at the Final Four this season. Look for Duke to get another win at home against a very good Ohio State team.
Duke 78 Ohio State 73
The Big Ten will once again win four of the games on Wednesday night and will take the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the fourth straight year winning eight games to the ACC's four.
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