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ACC Big Ten Challenge 2021

ACC Big Ten Challenge 2021 Matchups, Dates & What to Watch For

The ACC Big Ten Challenge 2021 matchups have been released, pairing 28 teams into 14 games that will span three days in the early weeks of the upcoming men’s college basketball season.

These are the matchups, how to watch, and what to watch for in the ACC Big Ten Challenge 2021.

ACC Big Ten Challenge 2021

Matchups & How to Watch

The times and channels for each game in the 23rd iteration of the ACC Big Ten Challenge will be released at a later date. But we do know the dates of every contest, and we also know the games will air on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU, plus stream on WatchESPN.

Monday, Nov. 29

Notre Dame at Illinois
Iowa at Virginia

Tuesday, Nov. 30

Indiana at Syracuse
Minnesota at Pittsburgh
Northwestern at Wake Forest
Duke at Ohio State
Florida State at Purdue
Clemson at Rutgers

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Virginia Tech at Maryland
Michigan at North Carolina
Louisville at Michigan State
Nebraska at North Carolina State
Miami (FL) at Penn State
Wisconsin at Georgia Tech

What to Watch For

Duke at Ohio State

The Big Ten looks to be loaded yet again in the 2021-22 season, and Ohio State appears to be near the top of the crop in the preseason. Last year’s team will be mainly remembered for losing to No. 15 seed Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but don’t forget that these Buckeyes nearly won the Big Ten Tournament and were a force during the regular season. Most of the roster returns, Jamari Wheeler and Joey Brunk enter the fold as transfers, and Ohio State will really have hype if Duane Washington Jr. and/or E.J. Liddell opt to postpone their pro careers.

On the other side, the biggest storyline for Duke this season will be Coach K’s final campaign on the sideline. Per usual, the Blue Devils will be young, leaning largely on freshmen and sophomores to carry the burden. Paolo Banchero, the No. 3 ranked played in the ESPN 100, will have big expectations, and players like Jeremy Roach and Mark Williams will be asked to take a step forward. Heading to Columbus in late November will be a huge early test for this team, which might take a little bit of time to gel, to face a side that will already have a good amount of experience under its belt.

Florida State at Purdue

The NBA Draft did a number on the Seminoles, but they should still offer stiff competition for opponents in 2021-22. Caleb Mills (Houston) and Cam’Ron Fletcher (Kentucky) have transferred, Anthony Polite and Malik Osborne are still around, and some quality recruits, like Jalen Warley and Matt Cleveland, enter the fold. There’s enough talent on this roster to consider it one of the better ones in the ACC, and Leonard Hamilton is a premier coach, but will Florida State have it all together in time for an extremely difficult trip to Mackey?

Purdue was already expected to be a contender for the Big Ten crown, but with Trevion Williams returning, a Final Four is not out of the question for the Boilermakers. This team is absolutely stacked – its top eight scorers from 2020-21 are still around and two ESPN 100 recruits have been added. Williams, Jaden Ivey, Sasha Stefanovic, Eric Hunter Jr., the list goes on. This matchup with FSU will be a good opportunity for Purdue to measure itself up before conference play starts while also serving as a big litmus test for the new-look ‘Noles.

Virginia Tech at Maryland

Maryland fans are not thrilled about not being paired with a Carolina school yet again, particularly Duke in K’s final season, but at least this looks like a great game on paper.

The Terps will enter the 2021-22 campaign with some expectations, though how big those expectations are will rely heavily on whether or not Aaron Wiggins and/or Eric Ayala decide to come back to school. Darryl Morsell just committed to Marquette, which is a blow, but there will be enough talent on this roster to be seen as at least an NCAA Tournament team even without Wiggins and/or Ayala. Donta Scott and Hakim Hart will surely be in the mix, and Fatts Russell (Rhode Island), Qudus Wahab (Georgetown), and Ian Martinez (Utah) are all massive additions via the transfer portal. We shall see how it all comes together and if some of the biggest pieces are back, but the Terps should be contenders for a top-four Big Ten finish.

Virginia Tech got a big bump recently with the news that Keve Aluma will come back for another season, keeping the Hokies on track to be one of the ACC’s best. He’s one of several returnees, including Tyrece Radford, Nahiem Alleyne, and Justyn Mutts. Storm Murphy comes over from Wofford to play again for head coach Mike Young, presumably jumping right into the starting point guard spot for VT and offering the team some much-needed perimeter shooting help. It’s likely that this will be one of several ranked matchups in the 2021 ACC Big Ten Challenge.

Michigan at North Carolina

There will be plenty to learn about UNC this season as the team heads into its first without Roy Williams in almost 20 years. The Tar Heels now belong to Hubert Davis, and he will have a major test early on when Michigan comes to Chapel Hill as part of the 2021 ACC Big Ten Challenge.

North Carolina has experienced some roster turnover, which is normal for a coaching change, especially in 2021, but do return some key assets. Armando Bacot should be a dominant force down low, and Caleb Love could be huge for UNC if he’s able to take a big step forward from his freshman year and produce more consistently. R.J. Davis and Kerwin Walton are also back, with a massive transfer portal get in Brady Manek entering the fray to stabilize the power forward position with an ability to stretch the floor. How good will Carolina be? That’s not totally clear, but this date in Ann Arbor will give us a look at how things are in Chapel Hill in the season’s early days.

The Wolverines are poised to be one of the best in the Big Ten yet again, though Hunter Dickinson’s decision to return or remain in the NBA Draft will affect things. If he stays, Michigan will be an incredible force to be reckoned with. If he goes, this team should still be quite good, especially with five-star recruit Moussa Diabate waiting in the wings. Eli Brooks and Brandon Johns Jr. will be back and are likely to improve from last season with another offseason under Juwan Howard’s tutelage. Caleb Houston is another big-time recruit coming into the program, and DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina) is a massive transfer add, bringing almost 20 points per game with him to Ann Arbor.

Want an early marker for how the Hubert Davis era at UNC is going? Tune in for this one.

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