Duke's Plumlee brothers are going to have their hands full at Ohio State Tuesday night.
The 2011 Big Ten / ACC Challenge gets underway this Tuesday. After losing the first ten of these, the Big Ten has won the past two. The marquee matchup Tuesday night is Duke at Ohio St., but the other five games on tap should be interesting as well. We've got some quick previews and picks for each game.
Miami at Purdue: The Boilers have had a couple of close calls to lesser teams and a loss to a solid Alabama squad. Miami's lone loss came to Ole Miss. Miami will have a hard time overcoming the Mackey Arena home-court advantage.
Northwestern at Georgia Tech: Northwestern has beaten some solid mid-major teams and LSU. GT lost to St. Joesph's and LSU, but the game is in Atlanta.
Illinois at Maryland: The Terps have two losses: Iona and Alabama. While neither of those are bad losses, Illinois has yet to lose (or play anyone of note).
Michigan at Virginia: Michigan has a win over ranked Memphis and their only loss is to Duke. The Cavaliers haven't looked too impressive so far: they have some wins over inferior teams and a loss to TCU.
Clemson at Iowa: This matchup looks pretty even; both teams have struggled this year. The Tigers have losses to Coastal Carolina and College of Charleston; Iowa fell to Creighton and Campbell. It's pretty much a toss-up and the ACC is surely going to pick up a win somewhere.
Duke at Ohio St.: This is the game of the night. The Buckeyes and Blue Devils will most likely both be ranked in the Top 5 when this week's poll comes out. We'll take Ohio St. since they have already taken care of Florida at home. A Duke win would not be much of a surprise, though.
PICK: Ohio St.
We'll be back tomorrow night to preview Wednesday's games. The matchups on Tuesday favor the Big Ten, while Wednesday's games favor the ACC. It is imperative that the Big Ten build up a big lead with Tuesday night's games if they are to win the Challenge for the third straight year.