It was a rocky start to the Challenge with the ACC going 0-3 with the UVA, State and Wake losses, but the conference bounced back a bit in the second slate of games. Today will decide whether the ACC will win its 11th straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
So what was going on in this game? Two starters for State--Scott Wood and C.J. Williams--both had 0 points in a combined Tossed in with Javi Gonzalez's performance, those three starters combined for 3-21 shooting. Tracy Smith had an inspired game with 23, but Michael Thompsons's 22 points and Northwestern's 49% shooting (43% from 3) were enough to give the Wildcats the W.
Wake Forest 58, Purdue 69
We all know how this turned out. Nothing to see here. Turnovers, Purdue making 14 more FTs and the Boilermakers taking 12 more shots than the Deacs really told the story. E'Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel combined for 54 points in the win.
Maryland 80, Indiana 68
This one was close for a long time, but the Terps pulled away in the last 5 minutes. Greivis Vasquez continued his poor shooting, going 4-14. He's gotta figure this out and fast, although he had 23, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. 13 of his 14 pionts came off FTs. Vasquez's shooting has obviously suffered, but he is becoming a better point guard overall and is making better decisions (1.83 A:TO). Milbourne had 19 and 7, while Eric hayes added 14. Indiana did not shoot well at all, but Maurice Cheek led Indiana with 19 points in the loss.
UNC 89, Michigan State 82
In a rematch of last year's National Championship game, the Tarheels absolutely blitzed Michigan State in the first half, shooting lights out and looking unstoppable. The Spartans settled down in the second half, cutting the lead down, but in the track meet, UNC just had too much firepower. Ed Davis had a career game with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Larry Drew looked really strong, adding 18 points and 6 assists. UNC shot 58% while Michigan State shot 2-20 from beyond the arc.
Virginia Tech 70, Iowa 64
Props to Iowa for hanging tough in this game. Iowa is not a very good basketball team at all, but they played inspired basketball yesterday. It didn't help the Hokies' cause that they shot 4-15 from deep, but they committed only four turnovers and looked under control the whole game. Malcolm Delaney had 18 points and 5 assists. I don't know what to make of this VT team, but 5-1 with a loss against Temple doesn't look terrible. Let's see how they look in the rest of their non-conference schedule.