The ACC was the favorite heading into this season's Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the league had the nation's best team in Duke, plus several other teams -- Notre Dame, North Carolina, Miami, etc. -- that had looked dangerous in the early weeks of the season. Meanwhile, the Big Ten had been struggling outside of Michigan State and Minnesota. Oh, and the ACC's worst team, Pittsburgh, sat out this year's Challenge as the ACC's 15th team.
Perhaps we should have seen the ACC's 11-3 domination of the Big Ten coming, in retrospect.
Michigan State was clearly the highlight for the Big Ten, but even the Spartans' dominant win against No. 5 Notre Dame counted for only one win. Nebraska and Indiana might have been the only other Big Ten teams that exceeded expectations this week (Purdue looked good against Louisville, but the Boilermakers were favored), and only one of those teams won. Maybe the key takeaway from the week? The gap between Michigan State and everyone else in the Big Ten is bigger than we thought.
Original prediction: Syracuse 72, Maryland 66
How it played out: Syracuse 72, Maryland 70: This was a back-and-forth game throughout, but Maryland turned it over twice in the final minute after Tyus Battle hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute remaining. Battle, whose status for the game was up in the air because of a back injury, scored Syracuse's final nine points and was the difference-maker.
Original prediction: Virginia 60, Wisconsin 51
How it played out: Virginia 49, Wisconsin 37: In retrospect, the predicted score should have been much lower, given how both teams like to play. Virginia imposed its will on the game from the opening tip, and Wisconsin didn't make much of an effort to speed things up. There were 57 possessions total. For comparison, the Michigan State-Duke game this season had 75 possessions.
Original prediction: Northwestern 73, Georgia Tech 71
How it played out: Georgia Tech 52, Northwestern 51. Northwestern is in a bigger slump than we thought. Georgia Tech won on a Tadric Jackson layup at the buzzer, sending Northwestern to its third loss in the past five games. We said the key would be whether Scottie Lindsey would step up for Northwestern; he shot 0-for-8 and finished with zero points.
Original prediction: Florida State 77, Rutgers 67
How it played out: Florida State 78, Rutgers 73. Rutgers had been one of the best rebounding teams in the country entering the week, but, as expected, Florida State's size helped the Seminoles hold their own on the glass. Sophomore guard CJ Walker had the best game of his career for Florida State, finishing with 23 points.
Original prediction: Purdue 71, Louisville 68
How it played out: Purdue 66, Louisville 57. The game was closer than the score indicated. After a low-scoring first half, both teams were able to get points in the second -- and Purdue really didn't get much separation until the final minute. At this point in the season, Purdue is just a little further along than Louisville, which is to be expected.
Original prediction: Wake Forest 85, Illinois 78
How it played out: Wake Forest 80, Illinois 73. The key was always going to be whether Wake Forest could take care of the ball and run its offense against Illinois' pressure. After some early struggles, Bryant Crawford and the Demon Deacons settled in. Crawford scored 20, and the team turned it over only 14 times.
Original prediction: Virginia Tech 83, Iowa 72
How it played out: Virginia Tech 79, Iowa 55. This was actually remotely competitive for a while, tied early in the second half. But a 19-1 run by the Hokies at the beginning of the second half ended Iowa's hopes. The Hawkeyes are slumping, having lost three of their past four. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech was able to overcome a five-point effort from freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker; the Hokies are balanced and well-rounded.
Original prediction: NC State 82, Penn State 81
How it played out: NC State 85, Penn State 78. Kevin Keatts brought his successful style from UNCW to Raleigh, and the early returns are positive for the Wolfpack. NC State forced Penn State into 18 turnovers and both teams wanted to push the tempo, resulting in a 76-possession game. Tony Carr continued to score for the Nittany Lions but didn't get as much help Wednesday.
Original prediction: Ohio State 74, Clemson 72
How it played out: Clemson 79, Ohio State 65. This might have been the most eye-opening result of the event. Clemson hadn't won a true road game since January of last season, yet the Tigers went into Columbus and came out with a double-digit win. Clemson outscored Ohio State in the second half, 49-28. Ohio State has lost three of four.
Original prediction: North Carolina 80, Michigan 71
How it played out: North Carolina 86, Michigan 71. The Michigan total was right, at least. When Luke Maye is scoring for North Carolina, though, the Tar Heels are really tough to handle. He had 27 points, shaking off a subpar performance against Michigan State in the final of the PK80. Michigan simply couldn't slow down Carolina late in the first half.
Original prediction: Boston College 70, Nebraska 68
How it played out: Nebraska 71, Boston College 62. So much for going out on a limb -- maybe there's a reason Boston College hasn't won a true road game since March 2015. In fairness, this was a fairly tight game until the final seven minutes, when Nebraska went on a late run to get some separation. Boston College is still clearly better than last season.
Original prediction: Minnesota 73, Miami 70
How it played out: Miami 86, Minnesota 81. Just a really impressive performance and win for Miami, going on the road to hand Minnesota its first loss. Dewan Huell's inside play has been a difference-maker for Miami, and he held his own against Minnesota's inside duo of Jordan Murphy and Reggie Lynch, finishing with 23 points. Minnesota was missing starting shooting guard Dupree McBrayer, for what it's worth.
Original prediction: Duke 86, Indiana 72
How it played out: Duke 91, Indiana 81. This wasn't a 10-point game by any stretch, and Duke needed a 16-6 run in the final five minutes to provide the margin. In front of a loud and raucous Assembly Hall, Indiana played perhaps its best game of the season, not allowing Duke to dominate on the glass or have multiple sustained runs. In the end, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter and Grayson Allen were too much.
Original prediction: Michigan State 71, Notre Dame 66
How it played out: Michigan State 81, Notre Dame 63. In one of the best first-half performances of the season, Michigan State nearly ran Notre Dame out of the Breslin Center, taking a 20-point lead into the break. Notre Dame cut the lead in the second half, but Michigan State pulled away. The Spartans looked like a legitimate national title contender, playing outstanding defense for the second game in a row and dominating Notre Dame on the glass.
Original prediction: ACC 9, Big Ten 5
How it played out: ACC 11, Big Ten 3