The Big Ten had a strong start to the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge last night, opening 2-0. The bulk of action happens tonight, however, as six games tip off tonight!
Let’s take a look at the opening night’s schedule.
Game of the Day:
-Florida State Seminoles at No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers
- Time/TV: 7:30PM EST (ESPN)
- Tallysight Spread: Purdue -11
Purdue hosts one of the top matchups of the challenge this year as Florida State comes to Mackey Arena with a 5-1 record to take on the 6-0 No. 2 team in the nation. While the Seminoles are down two starters and thus the Boilermakers are heavily favored, I think fans will still enjoy this one more than Duke at Ohio State.
The Seminoles will also be without their starting point guard, RayQuan Evans, who will miss to attend his brother’s funeral. FSU will also be missing starting Center, Tanor Ngom (7’2”), who is suffering from a right knee strain and a reserve Center Naheem Mcleod (7’4”) who had a sprained ankle. However, leading scorer, forward Malik Osborne and his 12.5 ppg will be in for the Seminoles as will guards Matthew Cleveland (10.8 ppg) and Caleb Mills (10.5 ppg). Osborne also leads the team on the glass with 7.7 rpg and Mills with steals at 2.3 spg.
This matchup may lack some of the initial luster fans might have originally hoped for, but this one should still be a challenge for Purdue. The Boilermakers should prevail in the end, but Florida State still has the depth to make it interesting.
- Pick: Purdue
-Indiana Hoosiers at Syracuse Orange
- Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (ESPN2)
- Tallysight Spread: Indiana -1.5
The 6-0 Hoosiers head to upstate New York to take on the 3-3 Orange in the first major matchup of the Mike Woodson for IU. The Orange already have a home loss to Colgate this season and fell to VCU and then No. 19 Auburn in the Bahamas last week. Indiana will be hard pressed for the victory in this one, but has the talent to escape the Carrier Dome with a victory.
- Pick: Indiana
-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Pittsburgh Panthers
- Time/TV: 7:00PM EST (ESPNU)
- Tallysight Spread: Minnesota -2.5
The 5-0 Golden Gophers have the first road test of the Ben Johnson era as Minnesota heads to Pittsburgh who sits at 2-4. Pittsburgh has non-competitive losses at West Virginia and home to Vanderbilt while the Gophers have not had a particularly slate of opponents to date either. Just two Panthers are averaging double figures, forward John Hugley (14.3 ppg) and guard Femi Odukale (13.2 ppg). The Gophers should be able to pull away in this one and pad the Big Ten’s win column.
- Pick: Minnesota
-Northwestern Wildcats at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- Time/TV: 9:00PM EST (ESPNU)
- Tallysight Spread: Wake Forest -2
Wake Forest (6-1) is coming off a close loss on a neutral court to LSU while Northwestern (5-1) is coming off a big 16 point win over Georgia. This one might be a surprise competitive matchup and fans would likely to well to check in periodically on the score if watching the other late matchups.
- Pick: Wake Forest
-Clemson Tigers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
- Time/TV: 9:00PM EST (ESPN2)
- Tallysight Spread: Clemson -1.5
Clemson (5-2) comes to Jersey Mike Subs Arena averaging 74.7 ppg and faces off against the Scarlet Knights (3-3) defense that is giving up just 62.8 ppg. Rutgers has struggled against lesser opponents this season, while Clemson has losses to just St. Bonaventure and West Virginia, neither a bad loss. Being the home team might just prove the difference for RU in this one for an upset, however.
- Pick: Rutgers
-No. 1 Duke Blue Devils at Ohio State Buckeyes
- Time/TV: 9:30PM EST (ESPN)
- Tallysight Spread: Duke -2
The Buckeyes host Duke as the Blue Devils enter the matchup in Columbus ranked No. 1 in the nation after toppling Gonzaga last week. While Ohio State only has losses against quality teams in Xavier and No. 23 Florida and a win over No. 21 Seton Hall, this one probably will end up a bigger score difference than the six point road loss at Xavier. The Blue Devils in Coach K’s final season should get at least one win for the ACC on the night without breaking much of a sweat.
- Pick: Duke