Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Big Ten/ACC Challenge

The slate of games for next year's annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge was released today and I have to be honest, there's only a couple of big-time matchups and I'm fairly disappointed. In past years, there have been four or five different games that were truly must-see TV early in the season, but that won't be the case this time around.

Exact dates, TV schedules, and tipoff times have yet to be determined, but once again, this event will take place in early December.

The ACC has dominated their midwestern brethren over the years, going 9-0 as a conference with their member schools posting a combined 56-30 record. Duke is 9-0 as a team, best in the ACC; they'll pay a visit to West Lafayette, Indiana and Purdue next year. The Boilermakers are just 2-5 in this competition and the Big Ten has only one team, Michigan State, that has posted a winning record so far.

Tom Izzo's squads are 5-3 in their eight games and will host a North Carolina team fresh off another Final Four appearance. Surprisingly, UNC is only 4-5 overall in this competition, and this game in East Lansing is the other must-watch game for fans.

As far as my boys, the Michigan Wolverines, go, they'll head down south to take on Maryland in College Park. Gary Williams' team had a disappointing 2007-2008 season, which ended in the NIT, and lost a few key players from that squad. With Michigan on the rise and Maryland on a downward trend, this is a game Michigan could steal on the road.

Here's the complete list of games (Big Ten team in bold):

Purdue vs. Duke
Michigan State vs. UNC
Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin
Miami (FL) vs. Ohio State
Illinois vs. Clemson
Minnesota vs. Virginia
Boston College vs. Iowa
Georgia Tech vs. Penn State
Wake Forest vs. Indiana
Northwestern vs. Florida State
Maryland vs. Michigan

Update (Wednesday, April 15): The dates have, in fact, been confirmed for each of the 11 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games. The event opens on Monday, December 1 with one game (Virginia Tech-Wisconsin), and will see five games contested on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here's what we know so far, with tipoff times and TV networks yet to be determined:

Dec. 1: VA Tech-Wisconsin
Dec. 2: Miami (FL)-Ohio State, Illinois-Clemson, Purdue-Duke, Minnesota-UVA, BC-Iowa
Dec. 3: Maryland-Michigan, Wake Forest-Indiana, Georgia Tech-Penn State, Michigan State-UNC (at Ford Field in Detroit, not East Lansing as previously indicated), Northwestern-Florida State


Kartik said...

This event is getting old and stale. I hope this is the final season.

Besides, the Big Ten as league from top to bottom shows every year they aren't close to the ACC even though the top Big Ten teams are often times better than the ACC teams. The two league have diametrically opposite styles of play and attract different types of fans so what started out as a neat concept has gotten old and annoying.

MJ said...

Kartik, they've announced that this event is going to continue until at least 2011, so you won't get your wish right now.

I agree with you though, I think it has gotten a little bit old and I'd rather see both conferences find new partners if they want to continue a formal conference vs. conference series. I'd love to see ACC-Big East or ACC-Pac 10, and Big Ten-Big 12 wouldn't be bad either.