Monday, November 30, 2015

Big 10/ACC Challenge

Let's have a post about these games.  These are meaningless in the big scheme of things with regards to conference hierarchy, but individual games may be useful.

Wake Forest at Rutgers
Clemson at Minnesota - good way to hide the meaningless games on a Monday!  Clemson and Minny both might be fringe at-large candidates, but I doubt it.  Wake and Rutgers most definitely aren't.

Michigan at NC State - if I had to predict, Michigan will be fine and NC State won't.  Here's a road chance for UM to pick up a modest win for the resume.
Northwestern at Virginia Tech - I think NU is pretty clearly the better team, which makes this dangerous.  Road game at a competent opponent.  Tourney teams win this more often than not, good chance for an early statement.
Virginia at Ohio St - tough to value this game when OSU has turned into a tire fire.  The good news is a loss for them won't hurt, while a win erases a lot of sins.  As for UVa, a road win never hurt a resume.
Miami at Nebraska - Miami is probably exceeding expectations, and here we go:  another game where the road team is a modest favorite.  Things are interesting, no?
Purdue at Pittsburgh - Purdue is probably a very solid tournament team, and those teams win these games.  Big chance for Pitt to leap into the bubble conversation.
Maryland at North Carolina - sexy on-court matchup, little actual impact.  Both will have plenty of signature win chances going forward, so this won't make or break either team.

Louisville at Michigan St - see Maryland/UNC comment.
Wisconsin at Syracuse - I pegged Syracuse as a bubble team early, but winning Atlantis changes things fast.  Considering Wisky is fading, all of a sudden Syracuse is in a must-hold situation.
Penn St at Boston College - ew, no
Indiana at Duke - Duke is Duke, which means Indiana has a big chance to add something of value to their resume.  Kind of a no-win situation for Duke.
Notre Dame at Illinois - UI is becoming a tire fire, so Notre Dame must hold as a road favorite, which is never trivial.
Florida St at Iowa - Both are fringy bubble teams, so this could actually be really valuable to both teams.

The overarching theme:  Modest road favorites.  Northwestern.  Miami.  Purdue.  Notre Dame.  And we all know road wins are pure gold currency.  Which teams will get it, and which teams will receive a black mark on the resume?

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