Can you believe it is already here?! Tonight kicks off the start of the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge! The Big Ten is 7-12-3 overall in the challenge and will hope to improve to 8-12-3 this season.
Let’s take a look at the opening night’s schedule.
Game of the Day:
-Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Virginia Cavaliers
- Time/TV: 7:00pM EST (ESPN2)
- Tallysight Spread: Virginia -2
The Hawkeyes hit the road for the very first time this season with a perfect 6-0 record to date against non-Power Six competition. The Cavs should be a stiff test for the high-flying Iowa offense that currently ranks No. 6 in adjusted offense per KenPom. The Cavs, meanwhile, have the No. 25 adjusted defense per KenPom.
Iowa should likely be brought down to earth more in terms of offense when faced against UVA on the road. However, the question on this game more likely hinges on whether the Cavaliers can find enough offensive fire power to get the home win. Just three players average double figures, with forward Jayden Gardner leading the way with 13.4 points per game. Guard Armaan Franklin is close behind with 13.0 ppg and guard Kihei Clark is the other at 10.3 ppg.
This matchup will be a clear clash of styles with the slow and methodical Cavs contrasting with the offensive minded Hawkeyes. The opening game of this year’s challenge shouldn’t disappoint fans.
- Pick: Virginia
-Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
- Time/TV: 9:00PM EST (ESPN2)
- Tallysight Spread: Illinois -4
The Fighting Irish (3-2) are down in Champaign tonight to take on Illinois (4-2). The Irish will be challenged to find an answer for center Kofi Cockburn in this one as the recently returned center is averaging 26.3 ppg in the three games he has played in since his three game suspension was completed. The Big Ten should likely split the night’s action as a result.
- Pick: Illinois