Big Ten/ACC Challenge Recap

Story posted December 3, 2015 in CommRadio, Sports by Tom Shively

With four wins Wednesday and eight overall in 14 games, the Big Ten clinched its fifth Big Ten/ACC Challenge title in the last seven years.  The ACC has not won the Challenge outright since 2008 (five losses, two ties), but the ACC did win the first 10 rounds of this event, dating back to 1998, so they still own a comfortable 10-5-2 lead in the all-time series.

No. 2 Maryland 81, No. 9 North Carolina 89

UNC preseason All-American guard Marcus Paige played in his first game of the season after missing the first six, and his impact was felt as the Tar Heels took down the Terrapins in the premier game of the Challenge.  Brice Johnson also registered 16 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 53 percent from the field.  Melo Trimble led the way in a losing effort for the Terrapins with 23 points and 12 assists, but 22 turnovers ultimately sealed Maryland’s fate.

No. 3 Michigan State 71, No. 24 Louisville 67

In a rematch of last years Elite Eight, Denzel Valentine carried the Spartans to victory, adding to their already impressive resume.  He had 11 of his 25 points in the final five minutes of the game to help seal the comeback. The Spartans trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half but stellar play from Valentine and Bryn Forbes (20 points) down the stretch helped seal the deal for Michigan State.  Damion Lee led the scoring for Louisville with 23 points, but it just wasn’t enough down the stretch.  

No. 7 Duke 94, Indiana 74

Most of the preseason flare of this matchup has dissipated with Indiana’s recent struggles, falling out of the AP Top 25 rankings.  The Blue Devils proved that they were the better team from start to finish, never trailing in this game.  Freshman Brandon Ingram for Duke scored a season-high 24 points, and Matt Jones added 23, including five 3-pointers.  Indiana has now lost for the third time in five games after starting the season ranked 15th.

No. 10 Virginia 64, Ohio State 58

Malcolm Brogdon led the way for UVA, dropping 22 points for his third straight game with 20 or more.  Mark Loving scored 19 points in a losing effort for the Buckeyes, who have now lost four straight games.  UVA has now won five straight after an early season loss to George Washington.

No. 11 Purdue 72, Pitt 59

A.J. Hammons led the way for the Boilermakers with 24 points, but it was Ryan Cline’s back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers late in the second half that clinched the victory.  Pitt trailed for most of this game but was able to erase a 17-point first half deficit and actually take the lead for a minute but Cline ultimately silenced the Panthers.

Wisconsin 66, No. 14 Syracuse 58

It took overtime, but the Badgers were able to hand Syracuse its first loss of the season in the Carrier Dome.  Syracuse may have had a letdown following a Battle 4 Atlantis title last week but Bo Ryan’s bunch will definitely take the win.  Syracuse had many chances to put this game away down the stretch but a dreadful 11 of 26 performance at the free throw line ultimately enabled the Badgers to walk out with a win.

No. 21 Miami 77, Nebraska 72

The Hurricanes bounced back nicely from a home loss to Northeastern with an overtime victory in Lincoln.  Shavon Shields scored 28 for the Huskers but it wasn’t enough as Miami outscored Nebraska by 14 on the free throw line in crunch time.

Wake Forest 69, Rutgers 68

Cornelius Hudson scored the game-winning layup for the Demon Deacons with 18 seconds to play to help Wake Forest clinch a win for the ACC.  Devin Thomas also tallied 23 points and 17 rebounds in the victory while Rutgers has to be frustrated after blowing a 12-point second half lead.

Minnesota 89, Clemson 83

Clemson shot 50 percent from behind the arc but ultimately couldn’t finish the job as they have now lost four straight games in this event.  Joey King led the way for Minnesota with 17 points but the most impressive stat was the six turnovers, limiting chances for Clemson to score easy transition buckets.

Michigan 66, NC State 59

Duncan Robinson hit five 3-pointers to help spur Michigan to victory in Winston-Salem over the struggling Wolfpack.  NC State shot a dismal 33 percent from the field and only scored three field goals in the final seven minutes of the game.  Derrick Walton Jr., the second leading scorer for Michigan, injured his ankle in the first half but coach John Beilein doesn’t expect it to be anything major.

Northwestern 81, Virginia Tech 79

Virginia Tech never led in the second half but they were able to tie the game on two different occasions late and force overtime.  Bryant McIntosh ultimately scored the game winner for the Wildcats on a driving layup with 27 seconds to play in overtime to seal the victory on the road.

Penn State 67, Boston College 58

Shep Garner scored a career-high 30 points including the first 12 points of the game for Penn State to fuel a blistering 8-12 performance from behind the arc.  Penn State trailed by seven in the second half before Garner hit three straight deep balls to put the Nittany Lions ahead for good.  Dennis Clifford led the way for Boston College with 17 points but the Eagles couldn’t find a way to stop Garner.

Notre Dame 84, Illinois 79

Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia both scored 21 points in a road victory.  Illinois led for the entire first half but a horrendous 2-for-18 shooting performance to start the second half allowed Notre Dame to take control of this game.  It was Illinois’ first game of the season in the State Farm Center after having it renovated in the offseason.

Iowa 78, Florida State 75

Peter Jok’s three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining helped the Hawkeyes grind out a victory in the fourth overtime game of this compelling Challenge.  Jared Uthoff added 15 points for Iowa as they have now won tree straight at home.  19 offensive rebounds weren’t enough for the Seminoles, as they dropped their second contest of the season.

Tom Shively is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism.  You can contact him at