That’s not the only college game on the tube Monday as the annual ACC/Big 10 Challenge starts with a pair of games. The 14-game event lasts through Wednesday night with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU handling the telecasts.
Here’s a preview:
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Minnesota at Florida State: After a disastrous season a year ago, Richard Pitino and Minnesota are off to a much better start in 2016-17. The Golden Gophers are 6-0, including an 85-71 win over Arkansas. Florida State is 5-1 under our old friend Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles’ lone loss was 89-86 to Temple in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. FSU rebounded to beat Illinois 72-61 on Friday. ESPNU has the 7 p.m. start Monday.
Wake Forest at Northwestern: Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons are 5-1, the lone loss coming to defending national champion Villanova 96-77. John Collins, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center, leads Wake in scoring at 18.8 points per game. Northwestern has been up and down so far. Chris Collins’ club lost 70-68 at Butler, then beat Texas 77-58 and gave Notre Dame all it wanted in a 70-66 loss at the Legends Classic final in Brooklyn. ESPNU has the telecast after Minnesota-Florida State.
Pittsburgh at Maryland: Kevin Stallings’ Pittsburgh debut is off to a decent start. The Panthers are 5-1 against a relatively easy schedule. The one loss was to SMU 76-67. Maryland is a perfect 7-0. Melo Trimble is averaging 21.1 points per game for the Terrapins. This one is a 7 p.m. start on ESPN2.
Georgia Tech at Penn State: Josh Pastner is 4-1 in his first season at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets lost 67-61 at Ohio and this will be their first road game of the season. Penn State is 4-3 but has played a much tougher schedule. The Nittany Lions lost to Albany 87-81, Duke 78-68 and Cincinnati 71-50. ESPNU has the 7 p.m. tip.
Syracuse at Wisconsin: Syracuse was 4-0 before being rolled 64-50 by South Carolina in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational. Wisconsin played well in the Maui Invitational, beating Tennessee 74-62 and Georgetown 73-57 before falling to North Carolina 71-56 in the final. Greg Gard’s team is 5-2 overall. It lost to Creighton 79-67 in the second game of the year. ESPN has the 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
North Carolina State at Illinois: Mark Gottfried has his Wolfpack off to a 5-1 start. Creighton was the team that beat State, winning 112-94. Terry Henderson (17.3 points per game), Torin Dorn (17.3) and Maverick Rowan (17.0) lead the Wolfpack. It has been a struggle for John Groce at Illinois. He won 20-or-more games his first two seasons, but has gone 38-35 since. The Illini has lost three straight games to fall to 4-3. Winthrop started the slide by beating Illinois 84-80 in overtime. This one is a 9 p.m. scheduled start on ESPNU.
Iowa at Notre Dame: Iowa has struggled out of the gate, losing to Seton Hall 91-83, Virginia 74-41 and Memphis 100-92. The Hawkeys are 3-3 overall. Notre Dame is perfect at this point with a 6-0 mark. Bonzie Colson is averaging 17.2 points and 9.7 rebounds. V.J. Beachem is averaging 17 points per game for the Irish. ESPN2 has the 9 p.m. tipoff.
Michigan State at Duke: Tom Izzo says it’s his fault that the Spartans have played a tougher schedule than his young team could handle early on. The Spartans are 4-3 with losses to Arizona 65-63, Kentucky 69-48 in the Champions Classic and Baylor 73-58 in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Izzo’s team did rebound to beat Wichita State 77-72 but the trip to Cameron Indoor might be beyond their skill level at this point. Duke is 6-1 even without injured freshmen Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden. So far, Duke sophomore Luke Kennard is one of the most improved players in the country. ESPN has the 9:30 p.m. tip.
Purdue at Louisville: Matt Painter’s Boilermakers will be a tough test fo the Cards. Purdue is 5-1, its lone loss coming to Villanova 79-76. Sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan is averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per game for Purdue. Louisville is coming off that shocking 66-63 loss to Baylor in the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Losing to Baylor wasn’t shocking. How Louisville lost was -- the Cards lost a 20-point lead early in the second half and fell to 5-1. ESPN will televise this one starting at 7:15.
Virginia Tech at Michigan: Buzz Williams appears right on track to turning the Virginia Tech program around. The Hokes are off to a 5-1 start with wins over New Mexico and Nebraska. The lone loss was to Texas A&M 68-65 in the Wooden Legacy. Michigan did rebound from a 61-46 loss at South Carolina to beat Mount St. Mary’s 64-47 on Saturday. The Wolverines are 5-1 overall. The game is on ESPN2 at 7:15.
Rutgers at Miami: How about Rutgers? The Scarlet Knights are 6-0 under first-year coach Steve Pikiell, who led Stony Brook to last year’s NCAA Tournament. After a 4-0 start, Miami has lost back-to-back games to Iowa State (73-56) and Florida (65-56). Ja’Quan Newton is averaging 17.2 points per game for the Hurricanes. ESPNU has the 7:15 p.m. tipoff.
Nebraska at Clemson: Nebraska opened with four straight losses before losing to UCLA 82-71 and then Virginia Tech 6-53 in the Wooden Legacy. Tai Webster is averaging 18.5 points per game for the Cornhuskers. Clemson is 3-2 with losses to Xavier 83-77 and Oklahoma 70-64. Jarren Blossmgame is averaging 18.4 points and five rebounds per game for the Tigers. ESPNU has the 9:15 p.m. start.
Ohio State at Virginia: Ohio State is 6-0 against a schedule mostly filled with cupcakes to this point. That changes in Charlottesville. Virginia is 6-0, but has held all six of its opponents to 52 or fewer points. Ken Pomeroy’s ratings have the Cavaliers as the best defensive team in the country to this point. This one is a 9:15 p.m. start on ESPN2.
North Carolina at Indiana: Though ranked No. 3, North Carolina may be the most impressive team in the country right now. The Tar Heels are 7-0 after beating Wisconsin in the finals of the Maui Invitational. Pomeroy’s advanced stats rate UNC as the third-best offensive team and seventh-best defensive team in the country. Indiana opened the year with a 103-99 overtime win over Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic, but lost at Fort Wayne 71-68 last week. Tom Crean’s team is 4-1 overall. James Blackmon, Jr., back from ACL surgery a year ago, is averaging 20.5 points per game. It’s a 9:15 p.m. scheduled start on ESPN.
Here is the list of college basketball games on TV for Monday:
Monday, Nov. 28
▪ 7:00 - Kentucky vs. Arizona State (ESPN2)
▪ 7:00 - Northwestern State at Mississippi State (SEC)
▪ 7:00 - Minnesota at Florida State (ESPNU)
▪ 7:00 - Lipscomb at Cincinnati (Fox Sports Ohio)
▪ 9:00 - Wake Forest at Northwestern (ESPNU)
▪ 9:00 - Butler at Utah (ESPNU)
▪ 11:00 - Boise State at Oregon (Pac-12)
Associated Press Top 25
- 1. Kentucky
- 2. Villanova
- 3. North Carolina
- 4. Kansas
- 5. Duke
- 6. Virginia
- 7. Xavier
- 8. Gonzaga
- 9. Baylor
- 10. Creighton
- 11. UCLA
- 12. Saint Mary's
- 13. Indiana
- 14. Louisville
- 15. Purdue
- 16. Arizona
- 17. Wisconsin
- 18. Butler
- 19. Iowa State
- 20. South Carolina
- 21. Rhode Island
- 22. Syracuse
- 23. Oregon
- 24. Florida
- 25. West Virginia