Ranking the ACC-B1G Challenge Games
The ACC-B1G Challenge games were announced a few days ago. After looking to see who your school played, the next thought was probably to check out whether any other games were intriguing. And there are several. So let’s just go ahead and rank them for interest.
Gold Medal Games:
1. North Carolina @ Michigan State. Tom Izzo v Roy Williams. That’s a lot of Final Four appearances. MSU always reloads, and North Carolina never stays quiet for long. This one should be a battle in Breslin.
2. Michigan @ Duke. Both teams had good seasons in 2012-2013, with Michigan exceeding expectations by making a run to the title game. Both have a lot of production to replace. Will be a great game though.
3. Indiana @ Syracuse. A rematch of a March Madness game that went for the Orange. A lot of new faces in 2013-2014, but a lot of star power will be back and new to both campuses.
4. Wisconsin @ Virginia. The first one to 40 wins? Don’t expect a lot of points in this one. But this is still a darn good matchup.
Silver Medal Games:
5. Notre Dame @ Iowa. Any time ANY Fighting Irish team comes to town, it is a big deal. A nice regional battle too.
6. Penn State @ Pittsburgh. A battle for Pennsylvania. This one should be close too–Penn State has experience coming back.
7. Miami @ Nebraska. The Hurricanes invested in their program by hiring a dynamic coach. Nebraska is investing in its facilities. A better game on the gridiron, but one to keep an eye on anyway.
8. Florida State @ Minnesota. Both teams fell short of expectations last year. A lot of new faces.
Bronze Medal Games:
9. Northwestern @ North Carolina State. This game might be underrated at #9. But until the Wildcats make a Big Dance, it is hard to take them seriously on the hardcourt.
10. Illinois @ Georgia Tech. Still waiting for that Georgia Tech team to turn the corner. Illinois fans may feel the same way.
11. Boston College @ Purdue. Not exactly the old Patriots-Colts battles featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It is what it is.
12. Maryland @ Ohio State. Big 10 fans will be rooting for Ohio State. ACC fans will be rooting for Ohio State. Not much of a “challenge.”
Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are left out of the challenge. We’ll give them participation ribbons even though they are not, obviously, participating.