Thursday, December 4, 2008
After Wisconsin's win to start off the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the goal for the Big Ten was to split the rest of the games and finally steal a win in this thing.
After dropping three of five the first night, it didn't look good. Illinois and Iowa had close losses that would have been huge wins for the Big Ten and left a tall task for the teams playing the second night.
Penn State took care of Georgia Tech on the road and it looked like the Big Ten had a shot. Michigan battled with Maryland, even bouncing back to take the lead after a 16-3 run by the Terps to start the second half. Maryland won by five though, leaving it up to Michigan State to keep the Big Ten alive. North Carolina was just too much for the Michigan State in a mostly empty Ford Field. How do people fill it up to watch the Lions, then stay at home when the best basketball team in the NCAA comes to town?
Anyway, when the Tar Heels beat up the Spartans, it was over and the ACC won again. Could you imagine though, if it had all came down to Northwestern and Florida State and the Wildcats got the win to give the Big Ten its first BT/ACC victory?
This has to be the closest the Big Ten has come to winning the challenge, needing only one of three very close games to go their way for the win. It didn't help that the Big Ten was on the short end of the home games this time around either.
As close as this event ended up, it was clear the Big Ten is down this year and the ACC is superior, especially at the top. Duke dominated Purdue on Purdue's home court and North Carolina came into Ford Field and made it clear they were in a separate class than Michigan State. If Wake Forest had gone up against Wisconsin, this thing could have been ugly again, since Indiana would have lost to just about anyone.
Oh well, I guess the Big Ten will just have to wait until next year to try and get its first win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. How long will they keep doing this thing anyway?