Beginning on Monday, the 20th annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge will kick off, with fourteen matchups slated through Wednesday on ESPN. The ACC has won the past two challenges by a combined 20-8, but as usual, neither conference has a clear advantage going in. Here is a quick rundown of the games that will be played.

Nebraska at Clemson

Clemson is coming off a strong 25-10 season that took them to the Sweet 16, but this year’s team has yet to really prove itself. Senior Marcquise Reed is averaging nearly 20 points and 6 rebounds per game and Tiger fans are hoping that will be enough to bring them past the 5-1 Huskers of the Big Ten. Prediction: Clemson

Minnesota at Boston College

Minnesota, on the other hand, was one of the more disappointing teams in the nation last year. Head coach Richard Pitino is facing a very important season for his team and job after graduating Nate Mason and Reggie Lynch but retaining upperclassmen Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy. Boston College has shown improvement their past two games after a tough loss to IUPUI  Prediction: Boston College

Virginia Tech at Penn State

Though Lamar Stevens has been putting up numbers for the Nittany Lions, Virginia Tech has looked fantastic through their first few games, with a quality win against Purdue in the books. Sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 25 points and 7 rebounds in that contest. Prediction: Virginia Tech

Illinois at Notre Dame

Illini fans have to be itching for wins after playing competitively but going winless in the Maui Invitational. With a healthy Trent Frazier they should make it a good game, but the depth of the 5-1 Irish may cause them some problems. Prediction: Notre Dame

Michigan State at Louisville

Louisville’s big time new head coach Chris Mack has had a solid start, with his only losses coming to highly ranked Tennessee and a nail biter at Marquette. The experienced Spartan backcourt of Cassius Winston and Josh Langford will allow Michigan State to play with any team in the country. Prediction: Michigan State

NC State at Wisconsin

Ethan Happ is back, and still good. But this time around, he might actually have a little help with sophomores D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison settling in as nice contributors. NC State will come into the Kohl Center unbeaten, putting up a lot of points against mid-majors to start the season. Prediction: Wisconsin

Pitt at Iowa

Iowa’s versatile frontcourt has carried them to one of the most surprisingly hot starts of any team, punctuated by a decisive win against Bol Bol and Oregon.  Expect Pitt to have a tough time containing the Hawkeyes in Iowa City. Prediction: Iowa

Indiana at Duke

This is one of the games I am looking forward to the most this season, as it will be a treat to watch Indiana’s dynamic freshman-senior duo of Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan face off against Duke’s fearsome assembly of future lottery picks. Indiana was able to hang with Marvin Bagley and Grayson Allen at home last year with an inferior roster, but I’m not sure if they will have the firepower to compete with the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor. Prediction: Duke

Virginia at Maryland

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before- Virginia has a great defense. They are holding opponents to less than 50 points per game and are coming of a gritty 53-46 win over the Wisconsin Badgers. Maryland has a solid team top to bottom as well, with athletic sophomore Bruno Fernando scoring 16 points per game on 77% shooting. Prediction: Virginia

Syracuse at Ohio State

Ohio State, believe it or not, has the second-ranked Strength of Record in the country right now. Syracuse will be looking to bounce back after disappointing losses to UConn and Oregon. I’m picking Ohio State not because morale in Columbus is high after their football team’s win over Michigan, but because I think they are an underrated team to watch this season. Prediction: Ohio State

Rutgers at Miami

5’7 Hurricane guard Chris Lykes has the ability to take over games, averaging 20 ppg and consistently getting his teammates involved.  Though the Hurricanes will remain competitive, they don’t have quite the roster they had last year. Though Rutgers always seems to be sort of the punching bag of the Big Ten, they have a more experienced team than in years past. Still, Coral Gables is a difficult place to travel to. Prediction: Miami

North Carolina at Michigan

This is another one of the most exciting matchups of the season thus far, pitting the one-loss Tar Heels (leading the nation in BPI and RPI) against the undefeated Wolverines. Something will have to give, as Michigan’s elite defense is giving up just 47 ppg, and UNC has dropped an average of nearly 97 points per game. Prediction: Michigan

Purdue at Florida State

Though Carsen Edwards is looking every bit of the star we thought he would be this season (26 ppg), the Boilermakers just don’t have the firepower that they did last year, losing four senior starters. Prediction: Florida State

Georgia Tech at Northwestern

The only real test either of these one-loss teams has had was a competitive Yellow Jacket loss to highly-ranked Tennessee. Though Northwestern’s loss was a tough one at Fresno State, I still believe in Vic Law and the Wildcats to take this one at home. Prediction: Northwestern

Prediction: ACC wins 8-6

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