Monday, November 29, 2010

ACC Big 10 Challenge Preview

The annual ACC Big 10 challenge starts tomorrow night. For the 10 of the 11 years this challenge has been held, the ACC has won 10 of them. They look to continue that dominance this year, I will preview the 3 biggest games in this event.
North Carolina vs #20 Illinois
Harrison Barnes and The Tarheels travel to Champagne to face The Illini. North Carolina has struggled so far, and Roy Williams needs to right the ship. Illinois is lead by star guard Demetri McCamey, and the thing that sticks out about this team is the number of 3’s this team takes. They have taken 127 3’s and have made 47 of them. They are shooting 37% from behind the arc. Then you have the young Tarheels, who are struggling. Harrison Barnes is the star of this team, and needs to play well if The Tarheels want to have a chance to win. They are also going to need some quality play from big man, Tyler Zeller. Ilinois is the better all-around team, and I think they will bury enough treys to beat UNC by double digits.
#6 Michigan State vs #1 Duke
This is the big 1. Tom Izzo and his Michigan State team goes into Cameron Indoor to play Defending National champs, Duke. This Michigan State team is very well-rounded, Kailen Lucas is maybe the best point guard in the country. Draymond Green is a great presence inside, Durrel Summers and Korie Lucious are great compliments to Lucas in the backcourt. Duke has familiar faces, Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, The Plumlees, and a new face that has taken the college basketball world by storm. Kyrie Irving, everyone had heard of this guy in high school, but nobody though he was going to be this good. He is averaging 14.5 points per game, and 5.8 assists. But he will face a massive challenge in Kalin Lucas, this is the key matchup in this game. I think Kalin Lucas wins the battle, and leads his team to victory by 3.
#22 Purdue vs Virginia Tech
E’Twaun Moore and company need this win badly. They are coming off a loss to Richmond, and need a rebound win. The loss of Robby Hummel for the year has really hurt this team both in talent, and in leadership. They look to E’Twaun Moore in the backcourt and JaJuan Johnson down low. They need to have strong nights if Purdue wants a win. The Hokies got roughed up against Kansas State 2 weeks ago, but have rebounded. These Hokies have guys who are prolific scorers in Malcolm Delaney and Derenzo Hudson. The key matchup in this game is the battle going on inside between Jeff Allen of VT and JaJuan Johnson. Jeff Allen has a tendency of racking up fouls . If Johnson can exploit this, then VA Tech will struggle due to the lack of depth at big man. Season ending injuries have plagued both of these teams, and it will be interesting to see which team exploits that injured area the best. I look for Purdue to pound it inside and come out of Castle Colliseum with a 5 point win.

I look for the Big 10 to win this challenge for the 2nd year in-a-row to give them there 2nd victory, all-time, in this event.-Josh Neighbors

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