Tonight starts an incredible 6 day string of early season basketball. The ACC/Big 10 Challenge runs the next two nights followed by the Big East/SEC Challenge later this week and it all ends with the game everyone has been waiting for North Carolina-Kentucky. The second best game of the week is played tonight with Ohio State hosting Duke. Check out the picks from all the Acc/Big 10 games tonight.
Ohio State over Duke – The marquee matchup of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The battle inside should be a good one between Jared Sullinger and the Plumlee’s. The played against each other a good bit in camps over the summer so they know each other well. I expect the two front courts to neutralize each other. The difference will be on the perimiter. Duke’s guards have had a great start to the season but they havent played great guards yet, especially defensive ones. Aaron Craft and William Buford will make it difficult for Duke to get the open jump shots they thrive on. I see this being a tough game for Austin Rivers especially as he hasn’t shown the best decision making yet and he wont be able to blow by the Ohio State guards to get easy buckets. I see this one being a dog fight but in the end Ohio State’s guards outplay Duke’s guards and pull out a victory.
Virginia over Michigan – This should be the lowest scoring game of the challenge. Both these teams are deliberate on offense and play solid defense. There wont be many easy buckets in this one so I think rebounding will be a key and UVA holds the advantage. I think playing in Charlottesville will really help and as long as Sammy Zeglinski plays UVA should be this one out.
Georgia Tech over Northwestern – This game will be a contrast in style. Northwestern is very efficient on the offensive end while Georgia Tech is very good defensively. The athleticism of Georgia Tech will be the difference in this game. Georgia Tech has been much better at home this year than on the road and with this game in Atlanta they should pull out a close game.
Maryland over Illinois – Maryland is coming off a huge loss to Iona which most people realize is not as bad as it sounds. Illinois is undefeated but has played one of the worst schedules in the country. They also haven’t played a true road game yet so this is a real test for them. I expect the game to be back and forth with Maryland pulling it out.
Purdue over Miami – With Robbie Hummel back and healthy Purdue looks like a top 25 team. Ryne Smith has been shooting lights out for Purdue as well. Miami has really missed the inside presence of Reggie Johnson. I see Purdue pulling this one out pretty easily.
Clemson over Iowa – Both of these teams have 2 losses to mid majors so far this season. Clemson’s two losses were at least better than Iowa’s. Clemson should be able to play good enough defense and get a enough easy putbacks to pull out this game of the bottom feeders of the conferences.