With nine wins in 14 games, the ACC has beaten the Big Ten in their annual challenge for the first time since 2008.
The two sides entered Wednesday with a 4-4 tie, with Pittsburgh and Duke leading the way for the ACC, while Wisconsin and Illinois earned key wins for the Big Ten. However, the final day was a blowout for the ACC as it went 5-1 on the night.
Here is a breakdown of the ACC's dominance on Day 3 of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
|ACC/Big Ten Challenge Results: Wednesday, Nov. 30|
Indiana 76, North Carolina 67
A Sweet 16 rematch had a different result as No. 13 Indiana was able to pull off an impressive 76-67 win over No. 3 North Carolina.
While the Tar Heels appeared to be one of the top teams in college basketball at this point in the season, the Hoosiers were better from start to finish in this one.
Five different players ended in double figures for Indiana, led by OG Anunoby with 16. Justin Jackson had 21 for North Carolina, but he was the only one on the team with more than 10 points in the loss.
Indiana was red-hot at the start of the game, needing only six minutes to build a 10-point lead. The margin got up to 28-11 with the Hoosiers seemingly unable to miss.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports summed up the play:
This dunk from Anunoby really got the home fans on their feet:
The home team continued its strong effort on both ends of the court to hold a 41-29 lead at halftime.
Although the Tar Heels were able to fight back in the second, Indiana succeeded by keeping their opponent out of their element. Jeff Borzello of ESPN described one eye-popping stat late in the game:
The Hoosiers also edged UNC on the boards 38-37, beating an elite team at their own game. While the Heels cut the deficit to five, Indiana never gave in and closed out the nine-point win.
Virginia 63, Ohio State 61
Virginia showcased its defensive ability in the second half, overcoming a 12-point deficit to win by two.
Ohio State came out with a lot of confidence even on the road, leading to a dominant first half. The Buckeyes led 36-24 at halftime, featuring 62.5 percent shooting offensively, with Virginia making just 28.6 percent of its shots.
Tim Ciesco of NBC 5 believed the score was legitimate based on the play:
The Cavaliers seemed to remember how to play basketball after halftime. The double-digit deficit quickly evaporated as they kicked off the second half with a 11-0 run, although they weren't about to take away the lead as easily.
Ohio State remained in front for the majority of the second half until Virginia tied the score at 57-57 with just over three minutes remaining. A Marial Shayok layup gave the squad a 59-57 lead two possessions later.
Although the Buckeyes had a chance to win the game on the final shot, Jaquan Lyle was never able to get a good look and his shot fell short.
Justin Fedich of Rush the Court noted the difference for the Cavs:
Lyle showcased both the good and bad he provides in the loss, scoring 12 points with five assists but also adding eight turnovers. Ohio State finished with 20 as a team. Jae'Sean Tate was a rare bright spot with 14 points and nine rebounds.
London Perrantes was a star once again for Virginia, totaling 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting to lead all scorers.
Clemson 60, Nebraska 58
Clemson pulled out an ugly, but highly competitive, battle against Nebraska.
Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field, and each tallied 17 turnovers. The difference came at the free-throw line, where Clemson knocked down 17-of-22 attempts. Nebraska was held to just 4-of-7 the entire game.
Glynn Watson Jr. was the star for the Corn Huskers with 20 points, but it wasn't enough to earn a win.
All-ACC forward Jaron Blossomgame had 15 points and was the only Clemson player in double figures.
While Nebraska led for the majority of the first half, the score remained close throughout.
Clemson finally took over the lead before the under-12 timeout at 45-44 and looked ready to take control, but the Huskers were able to tie things up at 58-58 with 89 seconds remaining on a three-pointer by Watson.
Unfortunately for Nebraska, the turnover problems crept up again, and the team was unable to score the rest of the game, including on the potential game-tying shot at the buzzer. The Tigers only needed two made free throws to secure the win.
Louisville 71, Purdue 64
No. 14 Louisville played great defense to build a big lead and held on late to knock off No. 15 Purdue at home.
Not a single player on the Cardinals roster scored more than 11 points, but the key was the ability to keep the Boilermakers from getting the ball to their best players.
Isaac Haas finished with just eight points, scoring his first field goal with less than three minutes remaining. Vince Edwards had just a single point. Caleb Swanigan managed to score 14, but all of them were in the second half.
This defense helped Louisville jump out to a 14-point lead at halftime. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports described the struggles from a key player:
Haas scored just one point in the first half on 0-of-6 shooting from the field, and his team went just 7-of-28 from field.
The Boilermakers' offensive struggles continued throughout the game as they finished with 17 turnovers and just 35.8 percent shooting.
Louisville built a 49-32 lead in the second half that seemed insurmountable, although Purdue did everything it could to fight back. Big shots by Swanigan and P.J. Thompson helped the road team crawl back to a single-digit deficit and eventually a four-point game.
Still, the Cardinals held on, sinking key free throws to secure the impressive win.
Virginia Tech 73, Michigan 70
Virginia Tech effectively stole a win from Michigan, winning a game the Hokies were trailing in for much of the night.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports described the ending of the game:
The Hokies took their first lead of the game on a Seth Allen layup with less than two minutes left. Allen followed that up with a three-pointer on his next possession to put his team up 71-67.
Duncan Robinson had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but the shot rimmed out, handing Virginia Tech an impressive road victory that will look good on the resume in March.
Zak Irvin helped Michigan build up an early lead thanks not only to good shooting, but also smart decision-making. Brendan F. Quinn of MLive Media Group described the senior's early play:
He scored 15 points in the first half and was a big reason Michigan was able to build as much as a 27-13 lead in the early going. He finished with 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting.
Virginia Tech did fight back from the early deficit, going into halftime down only nine points at 39-30. The strong play continued into the second half to avoid a blowout, but the Wolverines kept coming through with shots like this whenever the score got close:
The game eventually turned in the final eight minutes with the Hokies attacking the paint and getting easier looks. This and some improved defense were enough to pull out the narrow win.
Zach LeDay finished with 18 points off the bench for Virginia Tech, while Allen added 10. Virginia Tech shot 52.2 percent from the field in the victory.
Miami 73, Rutgers 61
A balanced scoring effort and some strong defensive play helped Miami earn an easy 73-61 win over Rutgers.
Four different players finished in double figures for the Hurricanes, with Davon Reed leading the way with 18. While the team made only three shots from beyond the arc, it figured out how to get points while keeping Rutgers off the board for most of the night.
Miami jumped out to an early 25-10 lead that didn't last, as the hot shooting eventually wore off. An 18-9 Rutgers run helped the score dwindle to just a six-point deficit at halftime.
Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post noted the Hurricanes' troubles:
The home team got back on track at the start of the second half to pull away. After Rutgers cut the lead to 36-32, Miami stepped up its defensive efforts with a 17-0 run over nine minutes.
Steve Politi of NJ.com noted the Scarlet Knights' struggles:
Rutgers finished shooting just 36.5 percent from the field, including going 3-of-16 from deep. Being out-rebounded 44-30 also hurt its ability to stay competitive in this one.
Although the visitors were finally able to end the drought, it was too little, too late as Rutgers suffered its first loss of the season. On the other side, Miami earned a much-needed win after suffering consecutive losses to Iowa State and Florida.
If the Hurricanes can play defense like they did in this one, however, they will be competitive in the ACC.
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