Wow. If there were any questions about which conference is the best league in the land this season, those were answered last night. The Big 10 absolutely dominated the ACC last night in the annual running of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The day started out with Minnesota taking care of business at home in overtime, with a win over Boston College. Then Ohio State knocked off Notre Dame on the road. Once the evening hit, things got really ugly for the ACC, as many of their top teams were dispatched with extreme prejudice.
Iowa hammered North Carolina, beating the Tar Heels by double-digits, nailing 17 3-pointers along the way. Next, it was undefeated Virginia Tech’s turn for a beat down as they got obliterated on their home floor by Penn State, losing by 20-points. Even conference kingpin Duke wasn’t immune to the blowouts as they got smashed at home by Illinois, losing 83-68. The final game of the night came in New Jersey, as Rutgers won by double-digits over Syracuse.
🔥 #B1G TUNE IN
🏀ACC/Big Ten Challenge starts TONIGHT:@BoilerBall 🆚 Miami@GopherMBB 🆚 Boston College@OhioStateHoops 🆚 Notre Dame@IowaHoops 🆚 North Carolina@PennStateMBB 🆚 Virginia Tech@RutgersMBB 🆚 Syracuse@IlliniMBB 🆚 Duke
— Big Ten Men's Hoops (@B1GMBBall) December 8, 2020
All told, the Big 10 took six out of the seven games yesterday, with Miami beating Purdue being the only victory for the ACC. The challenge continues today with games between Maryland and Clemson, Indiana at Florida State, Georgia Tech at Nebraska, and Pittsburgh at Northwestern. Sadly, the highlight game of day two of the challenge is postponed, as Virginia and Michigan State won’t be playing today.
The ACC is going to have to basically sweep all of today’s game to save face in this series, and something tells me, that just isn’t going to happen. A lot of people were skeptical of the Big 10 dominating the top-25 early in the season, but after seeing what they just did to the ACC, I can assure you the hype is justified. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will head to Lincoln, where the Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as the ACC/Big 10 Challenge continues!
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-2) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1)
- Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln
- 4:15 PM PST
- TV: ESPN2
The ACC/Big 10 Challenge rolls on today as the Nebraska Cornhusker host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Big 10 dominated the action yesterday, taking six of the seven games as the league asserted its dominance and proclaimed itself the best conference in the country. Nebraska will look to continue that momentum tonight and keep up their hot start, as they are 3-1 on the year.
Rise to the challenge. pic.twitter.com/bYjWdq6DGQ
— Nebraska Basketball (@HuskerHoops) December 9, 2020
For Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets are looking to help the ACC save some face in this one and are coming off one of the biggest wins in program history when they knocked off the Kentucky Wildcats in their last game. The upset was hard to see coming as G-Tech was 0-2 on the season, with losses to bad teams like Georgia State and Mercer.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-2)
As great as Georgia Tech looked in their last game, the upset victory over Kentucky, they looked equally bad in their first two games of the season, losses to Mercer and Georgia State, two teams ranked outside of the top-100 nationally, that won’t sniff an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament this season. It is hard to tell just how good this Georgia tech team is this year with their inconsistent play. Josh Pastner brings back much of last year’s team, that didn’t win very many games, but did finish the season playing good basketball.
The Yellow Jackets weren’t close to the bubble last year, and they should be improved this year, but I am not sure they are going to make their first NCAA tournament in a decade. Moses Wright has been the star for Georgia Tech as he leads the team in scoring and rebounding. Against Kentucky, Wright scored 21-points, and filled up the stat sheet with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Earlier this year, he dropped 31 and 20 on Georgia State in a losing effort. They will need a big game out of Wright tonight if they want to win in hostile territory.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1)
Fred Hoiberg is going to turn this Nebraska program around at some point, but will it be this year? Hoiberg turned the Iowa Cyclones into perennial contenders in the Big 12 in his time in Ames, taking the Cyclones to the NCAA tournament in four consecutive seasons. Last year, his Cornhusker started out the season well enough, as they picked up wins over Purdue and Iowa before the bottom absolutely fell out, and they lost their last 17 games of the season.
This year, Hoiberg has brought back basically an entirely new roster. Teddy Allen, a JUCO transfer, has impressed as he leads the team in scoring at 19-points a game. Fellow transfer Dalano Banton from WKU has been great as well, averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists a game. This team has significantly more talent than last year’s team, and while they likely aren’t going to be improved enough to finish in the top half of the loaded Big 10 standings, they are going to be much better.
Who Do I Like?
There are a host of reasons that I like Nebraska in this matchup. The biggest reason is because the public loves Georgia Tech! Nebraska actually opened up as -1-point homecourt favorites in this game. But since the opening line was posted, the public has been hammering the Yellow Jackets, moving the line sharply towards G-Tech. Now, instead of having to lay wood on Nebraska, I get to make my play on the Cornhuskers as home dogs, getting nearly a full possession’s worth of points.
Another reason that I like a fade of Georgia Tech is that this is a classic letdown game spot for the yellow Jackets. The win over Kentucky was a huge one, and it is easy to see the Yellow Jackets hearing their own name in the media all week and coming out flat. The final reason that I feel like Nebraska is going to play better than is expected is that after watching the Big 10 smash the ACC last night, it tells me that this entire league is likely as good as advertised, and that the ACC might be just a little bit overrated.
I guess the betting public didn’t watch the Big 10 beat up on the ACC yesterday? Well, I did, and I expect more of the same tonight. The Big 10 is the best conference in the nation right now, and in a battle between two cellar dwellers in their respective leagues, I will lean towards taking the Big 10 team every time. Fred Hoiberg can flat out coach basketball, and now that he has a roster full of his brand of basketball players, I expect a much better on-court performance out of the Cornhuskers this season.
I see the Cornhuskers taking advantage of a Georgia Tech team that comes out flat and taking an early lead in this one. I doubt this game will get out of control, but I also don’t see Georgia Tech threatening to win on the road. Nebraska wins this one outright, but I will snatch up the points as extra insurance and file this one under free money. Give me the Nebraska Cornhuskers tonight, getting +2.5-points at home!