ACCBig Ten Challenge, Tuesday, Nov. 28
Michigan (5-1) at Virginia (5-1)When: 7 p.m.
Where: Charlottesville, VA, John Pail Jones Arena (16,500)
Fast break: This might be the most interesting game aside from the ones involving UNC and Duke because both clubs expect to play in the NCAA Tournament, they have some depth, and they play unique styles on both ends of the floor. Michigans loss came versus Duke on a neutral floor, but UVas was to a mediocre TCU club. Michigan is the better team, but this is a true road game and UVas perimeter game could go off.
Forecast: UVa, 70-66.
Northwestern (5-0) at Georgia Tech (4-2)When: 7:15 p.m.
Where: Gwinnet, GA, The Arena (13,000)
Fast break: Two different styles of play at hand here. The Wildcats run the Princeton offense coached by a former Princeton coach, and the Yellow Jackets will try to push some, even though depth can be an issue for them. Northwestern has one of its best teams ever, but given that it has never reached the NCAAs thats only saying so much. Tech is rebuilding and has a terrific player in Glenn Rice, Jr., but taking care of the ball is a key in this one. Northwestern has beaten LSU, Seton Hall and Tulsa. GT has lost to LSU and St. Joes.
Forecast: Northwestern, 67-61.
Illinois (6-0) at Maryland (3-2)When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: College Park, MD, Comcast Center (17,900)
Fast break: The Terrapins have been downright awful a couple of times, and this isnt exactly the kind of matchup that will inspire much optimism from their fans. Thus attendance, which has never been a problem when quality opponents are in town, could be down, which will hurt the Terps. The Illini have a 9-point win over Richmond on their resume, but little else. But they are athletic and more talented than Maryland.
Forecast: Illinois, 77-64.
Miami (4-1) at Purdue (6-1)When: 9 p.m.
Where: West Lafayette, IN, Mackey Arena (14,123)
Fast break: This would be a fantastic matchup if Miami had its full complement of players. Its still an interesting one, especially if the Hurricanes guards stay out of foul trouble and hit their perimeter shots. The Canes have an edge there, but overall the Boilermakers might be better, especially if Robbie Hummel can go off. Purdue has wins over Iona and Temple, and its loss was to Alabama by nine points. Miami has a win over Rutgers and lost last Friday in overtime at Ole Miss.
Forecast: Purdue, 68-60.
Clemson (3-2) at Iowa (4-2)When: 9:15 p.m.
Where: Iowa City, IA, Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500)
Fast break: The struggling Hawkeyes may not finish in the top 100 of the RPI, so a loss here by Clemson could turn into a bad one come NCAA selection time. Iowa has lost to Creighton by 23 points and at home to Campbell by 16. Clemson has no quality wins, yet, and its two losses are to solid programs (College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina), but ones the Tigers should never fall to at Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson needs a strong start here.
Forecast: Clemson, 62-55.
Duke (7-0) at Ohio State (6-0)
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Columbus, OH, Value City Arena (18,809)
Fast break: Great matchup of two potential Final Four teams. The Buckeyes might be the best club in the nation. Jared Sullinger is the front runner for national player of the year, but Duke has had a few days to prepare, and usually does a great job defending a star in these situations. Duke may be deeper, but its lack of star power and playing in an incredible raucous road environment will be difficult for the point-guardless Blue Devils to navigate. Calling plays in such an atmosphere will be hard, so expect more freelancing, which isnt Dukes strength.
Forecast: Ohio State, 82-74.
Andrew Jones record 53-10