The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is entering its third and final day on Dec. 2 with six games. The ACC, which hasn’t won the competition outright since 2008, currently hold a 5-3 edge. Overall, the ACC leads the all-time series 10-4-2 according to ESPN.
If the six upcoming games are anything like the other contests than Wednesday should be a fun evening. Of the six games played so far, five have been decided by single digits — including 1 one-point game — and two have gone into overtime.
There are three early games and three late games tonight with games starting at 7:15 and 9:30. Each conference has three home games.All games will be televised by the ESPN family of networks.
Wisconsin Badgers at Syracuse Orange
Surprising Syracuse (6-0), No. 14 in the AP poll, will host a disappointing Wisconsin squad at 7:15 on ESPN2. Michael Gbinije, MVP of Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, leads the Orange with a team-high 19.7 points while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 51.3 percent from beyond the arc. Gbinije also has dished out 4.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals a game.
Fellow senior Trevor Cooney (15.0 points, 3.5 assists) along with a pair of freshmen Malachi Richardson (13.8 points, 4.0 rebounds) and Tyler Lydon (11.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks) is also averaging double-figures for Syracuse. The Orange are averaging 73.0 points while allowing 63.5 points a game. Syracuse is shooting 41.1 percent from the 3-point line.
Wisconsin (4-3) is one loss short of tying its season total last year. The Badgers have lost to Western Illinois (69-67), Georgetown (71-61) and the then-No. 7 Oklahoma (65-48) already this year.
Junior Bronson Koenig leads Wisconsin with 16.1 points but has been inconsistent. Junior forward Nigel Hayes is averaging 14.9 points a game.
Syracuse has won 62-of-63 non-conference games at the Carrier Dome. The Orange leads the series 2-1.
No. 24 Louisville Cardinals at No. 3 Michigan State Spartans
Senior Denzel Valentine has been sensational for the Spartans (7-0) who host the Cardinals at 7:15 on ESPN. Valentine has posted two triple-doubles and is averaging 19.9 points, 8.9 assists and 8.6 caroms a game. He is also shooting 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Michigan State is coming off a Wooden Legacy Championship and has won six games by double-digits. The Spartans closest win has been a 79-73 victory over Kansas.
Louisville (5-0) returned just one starter from last year and led by a pair of transfers. Former Drexel guard Damion Lee is averaging a team-high 17.4 points, and fellow senior transfer Trey Lewis, who previously played at Penn State and Cleveland State, is second at 12.4.
While the Cardinals haven’t played the toughest schedule, they have won games by an average of 33.6 points a game. Louisville is giving up just 51.2 points a game, which is the fewest in Division I.
Penn State (3-2) at Boston College (3-3) is the other 7:15 game (ESPNU). Indiana (5-2) at Duke (6-1), Notre Dame (4-2) at Illinois (3-4) and Florida State (4-1) at Iowa (4-2).
No. 21 Miami, No. 10 Virginia, No. 9 North Carolina and Wake Forest earned wins from the ACC. The Big Ten has gotten wins from Minnesota, No. 11 Purdue, Michigan and Northwestern.