The ACC/Big Ten Challenge started Tuesday, with No. 1 Indiana looking impressive in a blowout win over No. 14 North Carolina. No. 3 Michigan also looked like a legitimate contender in its win over No. 18 NC State.
Now we move into Day 2. Another six games are on the docket and below is a preview of Wednesday’s games. NBCSports.com also made its picks on the winners of each game. Click here to see those.
Game of the Night: No. 4 Ohio State at No. 2 Duke, 9:30 p.m. ET
There were Duke doubters coming into the 2012-13 season, but after the Blue Devils’ performance in the Battle 4 Atlantis, there should be very few left. Mason Plumlee has been stellar so far, averaging a double-double of 19.7 points and 10 rebounds per game. Seth Curry has also been impressive as a consistent scoring option with 17.0 points per game.
This is Ohio State’s first game against a ranked opponent and it will be interesting to see how Buckeyes’ star Deshaun Thomas (24.0 points, 7.3 rebounds) responds against the best competition he’s faced since last year’s NCAA tournament. See below for more, but look out for Quinn Cook vs. Aaron Craft at the point guard position Wednesday night.
Another Game to Watch: No. 13 Michigan State vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET
Michigan State lost freshman Gary Harris for 2-3 weeks after he injured his shoulder early in a win over Boise State last week. Without Harris in the lineup, MSU misses out on 12 points of scoring per game.
This is where Miami is going to try to sweep and score the upset. The Hurricanes had an early-season disappointment when they lost by double digits to Florida Gulf Coast, but have since bounced back with wins over Jacksonville and a tough Detroit team led by guard Ray McCallum.
Rest of the Slate:
Wisconsin vs. Virginia, 7:00 p.m. ET
Clemson vs. Purdue, 7:15 p.m. ET
No. 22 Illinois vs. Georgia Tech, 9:00 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Penn State, 9:15 p.m. ET
Player to Watch: Brandon Paul, Illinois
Remember when Paul dropped 43 points on Ohio State last season? Well he’s been scoring in bunches again to start the 2012-13 season, averaging 18.7 points and adding 4.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
In its four wins this season, Georgia Tech has surrendered just under 48 points per game, so keep an eye on Illinois-GT to see how Paul handles the Yellow Jacket defense. He’ll get at least 10 shots, but the question will be how efficient he is with that many touches.
Match-up to Watch: Aaron Craft (Ohio State) vs. Quinn Cook (Duke)
The match-up to keep an eye on tonight will be at point guard between Duke’s Quinn Cook and Ohio State’s Aaron Craft. Craft, an elite defender, will test Cook, who is leading the Blue Devils with over five assists per game in his first season as a starting point guard.
Cook will also have his hands full defensively, with Craft averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Craft and Thomas working in harmony Wednesday could spell an Ohio State victory.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_