ACC-Big Ten Challenge 2016: Schedule, scores, results, and more

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC-Big Ten Challenge is back for the 18th time with two of the premier conferences in college basketball battling for supremacy over a 14-game slate. The Big Ten is trying for its third straight victory, while the ACC will look to improve its 10–5–2 record since the event began in 1999.

The ACC won the challenge for the first 10 years of its existence, but hasn’t won outright since 2008. The event runs from Monday through Wednesday and every game will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.

The ACC and Big Ten have each been off to strong starts in the early portion of the season, with the ACC entering the challenge at 73-16 and the Big Ten at 67-21.

Duke has the most wins in challenge history with 15. The Blue Devils will have a marquee matchup against a struggling Michigan State team on the second night of the event. Duke will again be without top freshmen Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden, who are all out with injury.

The most anticipated game of the tournament is North Carolina vs. Indiana. Indiana was No. 3 in the polls a week ago before losing to Fort Wayne in a stunning upset, while UNC was undeniably impressive in winning the Maui Invitational.

Purdue-Louisville should also be an exciting game. Purdue’s only loss came by three points against reigning national champs Villanova, while Louisville will look to get back on track after blowing a 22-point lead against Baylor in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Below you’ll find the complete schedule for the event and six players to watch.

The schedule

Monday, Nov. 28

Minnesota at Florida State, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Wake Forest at Northwestern, 9 p.m. ESPNU

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Pittsburgh at Maryland, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Georgia Tech at Penn State, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Syracuse at Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Iowa at Notre Dame, 9 p.m., ESPN2

NC State at Illinois, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Michigan State at Duke, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Purdue at Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN

Virginia Tech at Michigan, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Rutgers at Miami, 7 p.m., ESPNU

North Carolina at Indiana, 9 p.m., ESPN

Ohio State at Virginia, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Nebraska at Clemson, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Three stars who need big games for their teams to win

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

The sophomore big man is a double-double machine, averaging 18.8 points and 12 rebounds per game during Purdue’s 5-1 start. The Boilermakers need to get him going early and often.

Joel Berry II, North Carolina

Is Berry the best point guard in college basketball? He’s made the case during UNC’s hot start. Berry was outstanding in the Maui Invitational on his way to MVP honors, going off for 24 points against Oklahoma State and 22 points against Wisconsin.

Melo Trimble, Maryland

Maryland lost Robert Carter, Diamond Stone and Jake Layman from last season, but they returned one of the most important players in the country in Trimble. The junior point guard is off to a blazing start this year, averaging 21.1 points per game.

Three freshmen to watch

Dennis Smith Jr., NC State

The 6’3 point guard has looked more comfortable with each game in his return from a torn ACL that cost him his entire senior season of high school ball. Smith has scored 20 points or more in in his last four games, including a 30-point, seven-assist, six-rebound effort in a close win against Loyola on Saturday.

Jonathan Isaac, Florida State

The 6’10 forward has shown off great scoring instincts in his first six games, averaging 15.3 points on 60.3 percent shooting from the field. He’s also made half of his 24 attempts from three.

Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Bridges might remind Michigan State fans more of T.J. Duckett than Denzel Valentine. He’s a freight train rolling to the hoop and has produced several jaw-dropping highlights in every game he’s played. While Bridges is putting up big numbers, the Spartans look uncharacteristically shaky for a Tom Izzo team.