The ACC is opening up another can on the Big Ten in their annual November challenge. The troops from Tobacco Road opened up a 4-2 lead in this year's event. In yesterday's post, I analogized the beatings our home conference is taking to the Rose Bowl drought of the 1970s through 1986. But this is really worse--in those Rose Bowl games, you at least turned on the set thinking the Big Ten had a good chance to finally win this year. What makes the hardwood losses to the ACC so maddening, is that they don't--at least collectively--come as any real shock.
Indiana put up a good effort at Duke last night. Kelvin Sampson won't take the moral victory, but he was pleased with his team's work ethic, as they rallied from fifteen down to have a chance to tie at the end of the game.
Illinois rallied from a big first-half deficit at home against Maryland and the teams played a taut second half, before the Illini succumbed. Greg Couch of The Chicago Sun Times says Bruce Weber's team will be heard from come March.
Wisconsin was one of the winners, and looked impressive in doing so. Bo Ryan's team thumped Florida State at the Kohl Center, and showed they might be worthy of the preseason accolades that give them a legitimate chance of being in Atlanta this spring.
One team that didn't have to wait to get to Atlanta (site of the Final Four) was Penn State, who traveled to play Georgia Tech. The Lions lost, but the tough fight they gave the 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets might be the conference's biggest source of pride as this year's challenge hits the halfway mark.
The remaining five games are tonight. Top-ranked Ohio State goes to Chapel Hill to face the sixth-ranked Tar Heels. The ACC will probably win the challenge no matter what, but a win in this game would salvage a lot of pride.