Tuesday was the first full night of ACC/Big Ten Challenge action, and it nearly ended up being a Big Ten whitewash.
The ACC did start positively, following Virginia's win at Minnesota on Monday night with a similar victory by Wake Forest. Like the Golden Gophers a night earlier, Iowa blew a large halftime lead (12), falling at the hands of Demon Deacon freshman J.T. Terrell, who hit a huge three with 2.2 seconds left, giving Wake a 76-73 win and the ACC a 2-0 lead.
But that would be it for the night for the conference.
Northwestern got the Big Ten on the board, finally, with one of the most stunning offensive displays this season. The Wildcats blew by Georgia Tech, 91-71--hitting 75 percent of their field goals in the first half, finishing at 64.6 percent for the game, including 12 of 18 from three (they cooled off a bit, as they were 8 for 9 late in the first). John Shurna led the way for Bill Carmody's team, scoring 24--hitting all eight of his field goals, including five treys, though he was only three of six from the charity stripe.
Michigan also built a big halftime lead (16 points), but held on to beat Clemson, 69-61, to give the Big Ten a third win. Illinois made it four after they used a late first half run to push themselves past North Carolina, 79-67.
But the game of the night, and in my opinion, the season so far, was in Kansas City, where Missouri and Georgetown put on a show. (Seriously, look at the box score. And you thought the one for Georgia Tech-Northwestern was impressive.) The Hoyas actually had an 18-point lead in the first half, which the Tigers closed to seven at the break. Mizzou looked to have it in the bag, but three missed free throws in the final minutes gave Georgetown some life. The Hoyas were able to force OT when Kim English foolishly tried to save the ball under his own basket, turning it over to Jason Clark, who got it to Chris Wright, who naturally hit a game-tying three with 0.3 left on the clock. The Hoyas used that momentum to close the Tigers out in the extra session, 111-102, with Clark accounting for 9 points (three treys) in that span.
After the jump, I'll take a look at tonight's five remaining ACC/Big Ten Challenge games (with the Midwesterners up 4 games to 2) and the rest of the TV slate.
If a team's name appears as a link, click it to visit that school's SB Nation blog for more coverage.
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
- N.C. State at Wisconsin, ESPN2 (7:15 p.m. ET): This game pits a pair of teams who finished as runners-up in their respective early season tournaments, the Wolfpack in Charleston and the Badgers in Lake Buena Vista.
- Indiana at Boston College, ESPNU (7:15 p.m. ET): These squads look to be a bit better than advertised early on, as the Hoosiers are unbeaten (granted, BC will be their toughest test to date) and the Eagles surprisingly left Lake Buena Vista with two victories.
- Purdue at Virginia Tech, ESPN (7:30 p.m. ET): The Boilermakers have looked static on offense so far this season, and it's clear they're missing Robbie Hummel early on. Meanwhile, the Hokies have had scoring issues of their own. Seth Greenberg's team needs this one after failing to bring the trophy home from Anaheim.
- Maryland at Penn State, ESPN2 (9:15 p.m. ET): This can be viewed as a trap game for the Terps, who can't be caught looking ahead to Sunday's game against Temple in the BB&T Classic, while the Nittany Lions, who lost for the first time on Friday night at Mississippi.
- Michigan State at Duke, ESPN (9:30 p.m. ET): It's possible the series could come down to this final game. I have more on it over at SB Nation.
Here are the games involving teams from other conferences on TV for this evening.
- Florida vs. UCF at the New Orlando Arena, select FSN affiliates (7 p.m. ET): The Gators will look for their third straight win over an in-state opponent in the first college game at the new home of the Orlando Magic. This one will reunite new Golden Knight head coach Donnie Jones with his former boss, Billy Donovan.
- American at West Virginia, Big East Network/FSN Pittsburgh/MASN/SNY/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET): The Eagles, who look to be among the Patriot League's best, will look to upset the Mountaineers.
- VCU at USF, Big East Network/BHSN/ESPN3 (7 p.m. ET): The Rams look to follow up their win over UCLA in the NIT Season Tip-Off consolation with another victory over a Big Six opponent.
- Arizona at Rice, CBS College (8 p.m. ET): The Owls gave Texas a scare last week.
- Lamar at Texas, Longhorn Sports/FS Southwest/FS Houston+/ESPN3 (8 p.m. ET): The Longhorns hope to play better against the Cardinals.
- Oklahoma at Arkansas, ARSN/Sooner Sports/ESPN3 (8 p.m. ET): The home team has won the last three meetings between these two.
- BYU at Creighton, CBS 3 Omaha/ESPN3 (8 p.m. ET): This matchup gets the Missouri Valley/Mountain West Challenge started. A win for the Jays over Jimmer Fredette and the Cougars would be a statement, even at home.
- Iowa State at Northern Iowa, Panther Sports/KWWL/ESPN3 (8 p.m. ET): The Cyclones look to improve their place in the state pecking order at the expense of a Panther team who's a bit down early.
- Utah State at Denver, FSN Rocky Mountain/FCS Central (9 p.m. ET): The Pioneers have only managed to beat Alcorn State so far this season. The Aggies are a completely different challenge.
- Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt, SEC on CSS/BHSN/ESPN3 (9 p.m. ET): These two were both in Puerto Rico, but did not meet. The Hilltoppers upset the Commodores at the downtown Nashville arena last season.
- Duquesne vs. Pittsburgh at the New Pittsburgh Arena, ESPNU (9:15 p.m. ET): After handling Robert Morris, the Panthers look to claim the Steel City crown.
- St. Mary's at San Diego State, The Mtn. (10:30 p.m. ET): The Aztecs last beat the Gaels in the regular season on November 11, 2006. Since then, St. Mary's has gone 3-1, with the lone loss coming in the 2009 NIT. Up until last's season's 22-point win by the Gaels, the matchups have been very close.
For broadcast information about games that will be televised regionally, like Xavier at Miami (OH), St. Joseph's at Drexel, Northeastern at Providence, Richmond at Old Dominion, East Tennessee State at Dayton, and Butler at Loyola-Chicago, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.
Please share your thoughts about today and tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.