Big Ten/ACC Challenge Roundup

Story posted November 30, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by David Saggio

The Big Ten/ACC challenge is a classic series that pits some of the most premier programs in all of college basketball against each other in a battle of the Power five. This year’s challenge was no disappointment, with multiple great games occurring across the board.

With the series kicking off Monday, Nov. 26, we saw Nebraska at Clemson and Minnesota at Boston College. The Nebraska-Clemson game went right down to the wire with the Cornhuskers ultimately coming out on top 68-66 over the Tigers. Husker guard James Palmer Jr. scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, which proved to be essential to Nebraska’s huge win. Meanwhile, Boston College successfully defended its home court, winning in a dominating fashion, 68-56, over the Golden Gophers. Nik Popovic led the way for the Eagles with 18 points and six rebounds in only 19 minutes.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, there were a number of close and tense games, with No. 9 Michigan State at Louisville, No. 13 Virginia Tech at Penn State, Illinois at Notre Dame, NC State at No. 22 Wisconsin, Pitt at No. 14 Iowa and Indiana at No. 3 Duke.

Michigan state at Louisville ended with Tom Izzo’s ninth-ranked Spartans, losing 82-78 to the Cardinals in OT. Meanwhile, Louisville picked up its first signature win of the season under new head coach Chris Mack, with guard Ryan McMahon scoring 24 off the bench to propel the cards forward.

Penn State picked up a huge signature win at home over No. 13 Virginia Tech by a score of 63-62. Virginia Tech’s talented guard trio struggled going a combined 11 of 29 from the field. Meanwhile, Penn State freshman guard Myreon Jones dropped 18 from the bench.

Illinois continued its struggles this season, losing a close one at Notre Dame, 76-74. Despite 23 points from senior guard Aaron Jordan, the Fighting Illini didn’t have an answer for Notre Dame junior guard TJ Gibbs, who dropped 19 points.

NC State fell on the road to Wisconsin 79-75, with Wolfpack guard Markell Johnson scoring 21 in the defeat. Badgers star forward Ethan Happ recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Iowa narrowly beat Pitt 69-68 at home. The Hawkeyes moved to 6-0 on the season while Pitt to 6-1.

Finally, Duke demolished the Indiana Hoosiers 90-69 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Hoosiers star freshman guard Romeo Langford had only 13 points while Zion Williamson led the way with a season-high 25 for the Blue Devils.

Finally, Wednesday, Nov. 28 featured a plethora of good games as well with Rutgers defeating Miami 57-54 at home, Syracuse downing No. 16 Ohio State 72-62 on the road, No. 4 Virginia edging out No. 24 Maryland 76-71 at Maryland, No. 15 Florida State narrowly beating No. 19 Purdue at home despite Purdue guard Carsen Edwards 24 points and Northwestern also defeated Georgia Tech at home 67-61.

Finally, to wrap up the Big Ten/ACC challenge was No. 7 Michigan taking on 11th-ranked North Carolina at home. The game was not even close, as the Wolverines dominated the Tar Heels 84-67 behind freshman Ignas Brazdeikis’s 24 points.

This year’s Big Ten/ACC challenge ended in a tie with both conferences racking up seven victories in the challenge. Most notably, out of all these games, would have to be those played by the two Michigan teams with the Spartans being upset by Louisville on the road, and the Wolverines handily defeating the Tar Heels at home with the games played this past week having steep ramifications come March.



David Saggio is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email