Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Tonight: 11/30/2011

4-2, Big Ten, in the first night of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. I went 4-2 in my picks, missing on Michigan (they lost at Virginia) and Maryland (which lost at home to Illinois), but hitting on Northwestern (winners at Georgia Tech), Purdue (winners over Miami), Clemson (easy winners at Iowa) and Ohio State (huge winners over Duke at the Nuthouse).

Here's tonight's slate of games, with my picks in parentheses.

Indiana at North Carolina State (ESPN2, 7:15 p.m. Eastern)
"Christian Watford and C.J. Leslie are top forwards for squads on three-game losing streaks in [the Challenge]."

Penn State at Boston College (ESPNU, 7:15 p.m. Eastern)
"Former BU coach Patrick Chambers takes over the Nittany Lions, while BC looks to continue its perfect record (5-0) in this event."
(BC in what could be a real stinker. You know a game isn't interesting when the "hook" is that one coach used to coach at another school in the same city as the opponent.)

Florida State at Michigan State (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. Eastern)
"Big guards Michael Snaer and Branden Dawson key squads that are both riding three game losing streaks in [the Challenge]."
(Michigan State)

Virginia Tech at Minnesota (ESPN2, 9:15 p.m. Eastern)
"Dorian Finney-Smith is a Tech freshman to watch, while fellow forward Trevor Mbakwe stars for the Golden Gophers, who are on a 1-7 slide in [the Challenge]."
(Virginia Tech. Sadly, Mbakwe won't be starring for anyone for a while: He tore his ACL in Orlando during the Old Spice Classic and is out for the year. Without him, the Gophers are in trouble.)

Wake Forest at Nebraska (ESPNU, 9:15 p.m. Eastern)
Travis McKie and Jorge Brian Diaz key the frontourts as the Demon Deacons (9-2 in [the Challenge]) visit the Big Ten's newcomers."

Wisconsin at North Carolina (ESPN, 9 p.m. Eastern)
"Badgers senior Jordan Taylor and UNC sophomore Kendall Marshall square off at point guard in the finale of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Big Ten had the edge the [last] two years, snapping a 10-year reign by the ACC."
(North Carolina, but only if Harrison Barnes plays.)

Notre Dame at Gonzaga (ESPN2, 11:15 p.m. Eastern)
"Forwards Tim Abromaitis and Elias Harris collide in a Big East-WCC matchup in Spokane. Both teams were bounced in the round-of-32 in last season's NCAAs."
(Not a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game, but I'm rolling here, and it's easy to pick: Gonzaga in a laugher. Notre Dame sucked even before Abromaitis, like Mbakwe, was lost to a torn ACL last week. The Irish beat Bryant by 25 in their first game without their best player, but the Zags in Spokane is a tougher test by orders of magnitude.)

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