Monday, November 28, 2011

Pooley's Big 10/ACC Challenge Predictions

So pumped for this.

Michigan @ Virginia: Michigan. KenPom has Virginia as a Top 10 defense, but Michigan got some really valuable experience in their Maui games against Duke and Memphis and plays an unusual style. I think they win a close game in the high 50's/low 60's.

Northwestern @ Georgia Tech: Northwestern. The fact that it’s on the road scares me, but Georgia Tech is playing in a new building while theirs is being renovated, so it’ll be pretty new to them too. Also, we won the Charleston Classic and they went 1-2 in it, so there’s that.

Illinois @ Maryland: Maryland. Illinois could still be very good this year, but I see them struggling as an inexperienced team in their first true road game.

Miami @ Purdue: Purdue. They seem to have gotten it together a bit after some scares in their first few games (High Point?).

Clemson @ Iowa: Clemson. What happened to Iowa? Basabe was supposed to blossom into a star this year, but he’s playing less than 20 minutes a game and averaging 7.2 and 4.5. As a team they’re shooting pretty well but have been struggling defensively but got blown out by Creighton on a neutral court and by Campbell at home.

Duke @ Ohio St.: Duke. I hope I’m wrong on this, but I’ve watched a lot of Duke games and they’re sneaky good. Curry, Dawkins, Kelly, and Rivers combined with the Plumlees will be tough for Ohio St. to handle. Ohio St.’s favored but my hunch is that Duke is one step ahead of them, even in Columbus.

Indiana @ NC State.: Indiana. Only slightly though. Indiana has looked good in their wins but still hasn’t done anything that impressive yet, as a very down Butler at home is their best win. NC State, on the other hand, beat Texas and played close with Vanderbilt. Still, Indiana is humming so far and I haven’t seen any glaring weaknesses from them yet, so I’m going to give them the nod.

Penn St. @ Boston College: Penn St. Penn St. is not as bad this year as they could have been, having lost most of their players and their coach, while Boston College is just as bad as everyone expected them to be.

Florida St. @ Michigan St.: Michigan St. Florida St. should be extra motivated, trying to avoid losing 3 in a row, but Michigan St. wins this at home. Get ready for an ugly, low-scoring game.

Virginia Tech @ Minnesota: Virginia Tech. I’ll be shocked if Minnesota is able to pull this one out four days after losing Trevor Mbakwe for the season/forever. Virginia Tech is a pretty good team, and Minnesota was struggling even with Mbakwe.

Wake Forest @ Nebraska.: Nebraska. They’re the better team and playing at home.

Wisconsin @ North Carolina: North Carolina. If UNC hadn’t lost to UNLV, I would have picked Wisconsin to win this, but I’m not going to bet on UNC losing twice in a row, especially since they’re at home. Wisconsin is scary so far this year, though.

Result: 7-5 B1G, we win another Challenge.

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