C.L. Brown, ESPN Staff Writer 667d

And the winner is: Picking every game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

There already has been a sampling of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in early play and if these games are an indication of the next three nights, it doesn't bode well for the Big Ten. Consider the resume of ACC/Big Ten matchups thus far:

Virginia beat Iowa 74-41.

Duke beat Penn State 78-68.

North Carolina beat Wisconsin 71-56.

Notre Dame beat Northwestern 70-66.

Florida State beat Illinois 72-61.

Virginia Tech beat Nebraska 66-53.

The ACC hasn't won the Challenge since 2008, which marked the last of its 10 straight victories to start the event. The Big Ten has won the past two seasons after the leagues tied in 2012 and 2013.

With Boston College sitting this one out for the ACC, check out the 14 matchups and predictions for the 18th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge:


Minnesota at Florida State, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

After sputtering through an injury-plagued campaign that ruined their depth, the Seminoles are finally healthy this season and showing off their full array of talent. The Gophers will have a hard time matching up with 6-foot-10 freshman Jonathan Isaac, who has Kevin Durant-like scoring skills.

Florida State 76, Minnesota 69

Wake Forest at Northwestern, 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Vic Law has returned from a year off due to injury better than his freshman version of 2014-15, and leads the Wildcats with 17.7 points per game. Northwestern's two losses (Butler, Notre Dame) are by a combined six points.

Northwestern 82, Wake Forest 80 (OT)


Pittsburgh at Maryland, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Both teams have made a living so far making winning plays down the stretch of tight games starting with Maryland's gift from Georgetown's collapse two weeks ago. Who will be the first to finally lose its moxie late?

Pittsburgh 75, Maryland 73

Georgia Tech at Penn State, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

The Nittany Lions have ushered in a youth movement with three freshmen starting, including co-leading scorer Tony Carr. Young teams always prove to be much more dependable at home.

Penn State 69, Georgia Tech 61

Syracuse at Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Word to Jim Boeheim: This will be the only road trip outside the state of New York for the Orange in nonconference play. The Kohl Center doesn't take kindly to visitors, especially with the Badgers needing to regroup after posting an 0-2 record against ranked teams this season.

Wisconsin 65, Syracuse 61

Iowa at Notre Dame, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2

The Hawkeyes defense allows opponents to shoot 41.8 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 321st in Division I. Notre Dame is shooting 40.1 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 34th. Any questions where this is going?

Notre Dame 80, Iowa 69

NC State at Illinois, 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Perimeter play is powering the Wolfpack, led by freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr., who is beginning to assert his will over the team. Illinois needs more consistent play from senior guard Malcolm Hill.

NC State 67, Illinois 61

Michigan State at Duke, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Duke has gotten really comfortable with its four-guard lineup while awaiting the healthy return of Harry Giles, Marques Bolden and Jayson Tatum. The Blue Devils have a wealth of perimeter scorers; Michigan State doesn't have enough of them. Duke adds to its Challenge-record 15 wins.

Duke 79, Michigan State 69


Purdue at Louisville, 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Two evenly matched teams should provide one of the most entertaining games of the Challenge. The deciding factor might be how well the Boilermakers' backcourt handles Louisville's pressure. Purdue ranks 255th in turnover percentage, which isn't a winning formula against the Cardinals.

Louisville 66, Purdue 58

Virginia Tech at Michigan, 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Since the 2010-11 season, John Beilein's teams have always shot 35 percent or better from 3-point range. That's why it's a bit of a surprise that the Wolverines currently sit at just 33.6 percent, with senior Zak Irvin at 28.6 percent. Expect Irvin and the Wolverines to regain their shooting touch.

Michigan 67, Virginia Tech 63

Rutgers at Miami, 7:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU

This will be the first meeting in the Challenge between the two programs. The good news for Rutgers is it rebounds roughly half of its missed shots. The bad news is that remarkable stat is due to the fact the Scarlet Knights shoot just 43 percent from the field.

Miami 73, Rutgers 60

North Carolina at Indiana, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Grab an oxygen tank: The pace of this game could be breathtaking. Don't be surprised to see the score in the 90s. (Also don't be surprised to see a rematch in Glendale, Arizona, at the Final Four.) Disregard the Hoosiers' loss to Fort Wayne; this game will have all the buzz of an NCAA tournament final. The Tar Heels are playing as well as any team in the nation, but the Hoosiers are bound to land a 3-point barrage at home.

Indiana 94, North Carolina 92

Ohio State at Virginia, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No Austin Nichols, no problem for Virginia. The Cavaliers are rebounding by committee and own a plus-13 advantage in rebounding margin. Oh, and they're already playing defense as if it's late in the season. The Buckeyes can look on the bright side: They should score more than 40, which half of UVa's opponents haven't managed to do.

Virginia 62, Ohio State 50

Nebraska at Clemson, 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Nebraska's Tai Webster and Clemson's Jaron Blossomgame are kindred spirits in that both their teams are depend on them perhaps too much. Blossomgame has the better supporting cast.

Clemson 65, Nebraska 59

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