Tuesday, November 30, 2004

ACC-Big Ten Challenge Predictions

They may not be the two best leagues in the country (well, one of them is the best), but they're my two favorite conferences to watch, and they're squaring off in a made-for-TV event. Here are my predictions:

Michigan State over Duke: I’ve only seen Duke play, and while they’re still good (indeed, they are Duke), they’re certainly not as deep as Michigan State, and they are not a team that should be able to hang with the Spartans if Izzo has his boys playing decent ball.

Maryland over Wisconsin: My heart tells me that Wisconsin wins this game, but my head says Maryland. And my head is only concerned because of the recent loss by the Badgers to Pepperdine. Maryland hasn’t done anything to show weakness, so they’re the pick. Plus, I really like Nick Caner-Medley’s name.

N.C. State over Purdue: Yeah, this game took place last night and N.C. State won, but does anyone really think I would have picked Purdue? I can’t wait to get my first glimpse of Julius Hodge this year in one of the Wolfpack’s upcoming games.

Florida State over Minnesota: In the battle of the lesser teams from each conference, I have to take Florida State, simply because I know less about them, and the more you know about Minnesota, the easier it is to lose confidence in them. Though they did apparently hang with some decent teams in the Great Alaska Shootout, Jeff Hagen’s still the only guy I can name on the Gophers.

North Carolina over Indiana: Ouch. Mike Davis and the Hoosiers will be hurting after this one. I don’t think I even need to explain this.

Georgia Tech over Michigan: Michigan took Arizona to overtime last week. I was flipping back and forth between that game and the North Carolina-Iowa game. Iowa was down by 20 to UNC, as Michigan kept pace with Arizona, yet I still thought "Iowa impresses me a lot more than Michigan." Michigan’s guards were a bit of a disappointment to me. Tech’s guards are stellar, and should have no problem handling Dion Harris and Daniel Horton. At least Brent Petway will look good in his trampoline shoes.

Virginia over Northwestern: Northwestern has struggled early on, and though I think they’ll still be a force by the time Big Ten season comes around, now’s not their time. Virginia takes this one.

Illinois over Wake Forest: Wow, this is a tough one to pick. At the end of the day, my reasoning is the reverse of the FSU-Minnesota game. I know more about Illinois, and the more you know about the Illini, the more you’re going to like them.

Clemson over Ohio State: I have no idea what I’m talking about in this game, and so I picked Clemson because my cousin went there. But really, when Clemson and Ohio State get together, does anyone really win?

And with that, I’ll resist the urge to go out on a week Woody Hayes joke. ACC wins 7-2, but at least the Big Ten’s top-level teams earn some respectability. It’s a shame that Iowa has to sit this one out, but then again, the Big Ten also gets to sit Penn State, so that’s probably a wash.

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