In year five of our membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Syracuse Orange fans should feel at least a little more comfortable in the whole league pride thing by now. While it’s still sort of awkward rooting for teams we don’t like in bowl games or the NCAA Tournament, things are a little big different for the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
As you know, Syracuse made its own contribution to the ACC’s total this year, with a 72-70 victory over the Maryland Terrapins. It was SU’s first win in the challenge since 2013, when they stomped Indiana, adding insult to injury from the Hoosiers’ Sweet 16 loss to SU that March.
But the Orange were far from the only ACC squad to get in on the act of beating Big Ten teams. In fact, the league ended up winning 11 of the 14 matchups -- racking up the biggest blowout in the history of the challenge.
Now, the event’s never been super competitive to begin with. The ACC’s 12-5-2 all-time in this thing, and won the first 10 before finally dropping one in 2009. And admittedly, it’s also just a TV inventory grab.
Still, considering these are supposed to be two of the preeminent powers of college basketball, it was nice to see the ACC pull off some impressive wins over its B1Gger neighbor and potentially help its case come NCAA Tournament selection time.
The B1G (l1ttle?) on the other hand, looks a bit battered and bruised outside of Purdue and Michigan State at the moment, and also contends with the challenges their rushed schedule will create this year. You may recall that the conference decided to hold its tournament a week early (during low-major week) at MSG this year for the sake of #BRAND. That means fitting things in a week sooner than normal. There’s literally no way this ends poorly for them...
All of your ACC/Big Ten Challenge scores are below. Congrats to SU and the other 10 ACC squads for getting it done. And thanks for nothing, Boston College.
Syracuse 72, Maryland 70
Virginia 49, Wisconsin 37
Georgia Tech 52, Northwestern 51
Florida State 78, Rutgers 73
Virginia Tech 79, Iowa 55
Wake Forest 80, Illinois 73
Clemson 79, Ohio State 65
NC State 85, Penn State 78
North Carolina 86, Michigan 71
Miami 86, Minnesota 81
Duke 91, Indiana 81
Big Ten wins
Purdue 66, Louisville 57
Nebraska 71, Boston College 62
Michigan State 81, Notre Dame 63