The 2012 college football season heads into the post-season with conference championships this upcoming weekend as well as bowl games through December and early January. However, all over the country, college basketball is just beginning to reawaken in the minds of many. For us here in the Research Triangle, North Carolina, college basketball is as essential to life as food and the Word of the Lord.
This week the ACC matches up against the Big 10 in what will turn out some pretty intense games. Here are the flagship games for the 2012 ACC-Big 10 Challenge:
Tuesday, Nov. 27th
No. 4 Michigan welcomes No. 16 North Carolina State
Talk is already beginning to circle on whether NC State may have been a bit overrated in the preseason. The Wolfpack fell to an unranked OSU in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament and barely managed to beat unranked UNC-Asheville at home by 2 points. Ouch—definitely not a good way to earn the trust of your fans or the AP Top 25 poll. This game will depict the true strength of the Pack as they take on a solid No. 5 Wolverines. This game will also tell whether Michigan can beat a Top 25 team and claim their spot near to the top of the polls and the Big 10 Conference. The game is schedule for 7:30PM and will air on ESPN.
No. 9 North Carolina clashes with No. 1 Indiana
The UNC Tar Heels suffered an upset at the hands of Butler last Tuesday, but they showed they still had game when they man-handled Chaminade in a 112-70 victory over the Silverswords. Can the Tar Heels bring that same offense against Cody Zeller and the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers? We will see. A victory for the Tar Heels will tell us that Butler was a fluke and that the Heels, even though undermanned, can still ball with the best. An Indiana win will solidify its spot as No. 1 and spread fear into the hearts of NCAA basketball. The game is schedule for 9:30PM and it will air on ESPN.
Wednesday, Nov. 28th
No. 5 Ohio State travels south to No. 5 Duke
We have seen this matchup before, and it didn’t leave fond memories of the Duke Blue Devils and their Cameron Crazies. The Duke Blue Devils want revenge for an Ohio State beat down which took place last year and there is more than conference pride on the line on Wednesday night in Durham, North Carolina. The No. 5 Blue Devils struggled with VCU, but left little doubts after beating No. 2 Louisville on Saturday night. Will they continue their rise and beat Ohio State at home? The game is schedule for 9:30PM and it will air on ESPN.
The Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchups end there, but the fun continues with the rest of the ACC and the Big Ten going up against each other throughout Tuesday and Wednesday:
Tuesday, Nov. 27
Minnesota at Florida State
Maryland at Northwestern
Iowa at Virginia Tech
Nebraska at Wake Forest
Wednesday, Nov. 27
Virginia at Wisconsin
No. 15 Michigan State at Miami
Purdue at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Illinois
Boston College at Penn State
This could be the hottest ACC/Big Ten Challenge yet with three Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchups, in the fight for conference pride and dominance, as well as Maryland recently jumping ship to the Big Ten. Will the ACC make the Big Ten pay for that?