Big Ten let lead slip away

For the first time in Big Ten-ACC Challenge history, the competition ended in a tie. The Challenge started in 1999 and was dominated by the Atlantic Coast Conference, better known as the ACC, the ACC won the first ten match ups.  Recently though, the Big Ten had responded with three straight wins before this year’s tie. Since it was a tie, the Big Ten retains the title, but it has to feel like a loss for the Big Ten.

The Challenge was two days long, featuring six games per day. The ACC got the first win with Virginia Tech’s victory against Iowa. After that, the Big Ten dominated the rest of the day, allowing only one more win for the ACC. The first night was capped off with a marquee match up of number one Indiana and fourteenth ranked North Carolina. The game was close until the second half, and then Indiana exploded and beat UNC 83-59. The first day ended with the Big Ten leading the ACC 4-2.

At the beginning of the second day, the Big Ten was favored to win the challenge but couldn’t capitalize. They split the first two games of the day; ACC’s Virginia upsetting Wisconsin and Big Ten’s Purdue beat Clemson. The next game was between Big Ten’s thirteenth ranked Michigan State versus underdog Miami. Miami upset MSU and shocked the nation. With three games remaining, the Big Ten needed two wins to win the challenge, and the ACC needed three to win and two to tie. Illinois stepped up for the Big Ten and secured a tie after a big second half comeback to win by twelve against Georgia Tech. The final two games were won by the ACC, the last game being between number two Duke of the ACC and number four ranked Ohio State. After a strong fist half and having led most of the game, the Ohio State Buckeyes couldn’t finish the job and Duke came back for a five-point victory.

Though the challenge ended in a tie, the Big Ten has to be disappointed with their performance. On the other hand, the ACC has to be excited about the way they played as a conference, tying with the Big Ten, who is regarded by many as the best conference in the nation.

All basketball fans should be encouraged with the show of close games provided by the conferences. If the season shapes up like this, we are in for one wild ride of a year.


List of Games and Final Scores

Day 1

Iowa 79 at Virginia Tech 95(ACC 1, Big Ten 0)

#21 Minnesota 77 at Florida State 68(ACC 1, Big Ten 1)

#18 North Carolina State 72 at #3 Michigan 79   (ACC 1, Big Ten 2)

Nebraska 79 at Wake Forest 63   (ACC 1, Big Ten 3)

Maryland 77 at Northwestern 57   (ACC 2, Big ten 3)

#14 North Carolina 59 at #1 Indiana 83   (ACC 2, Big Ten 4)


Day 2

Virginia 60 at Wisconsin 54   (ACC 3, Big Ten 4)

Purdue 73 at  Clemson 61   (ACC 3, Big Ten 5)

#13 Michigan State 59  at Miami 67   (ACC 4, Big Ten 5)

Georgia Tech 62 at #22 Illinois 75   (ACC 4, Big Ten 6)

Boston College 73 at Penn State 61   (ACC 5, Big Ten 6)

#4 Ohio State 68 at #2 Duke 73   (ACC 6, Big Ten 6)