The battle to determine which conference is the second-best in the land tips off tonight. A total of 14 games will be played in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge over the next three days. As is customary, I simulated the challenge a million times based on my ratings to determine the chances of each conference winning the event.
The last two seasons have ended in a tie and the powers-that-be have yet to adopt my tie-breaker of aggregate free throw percentage, so more ties are possible. (Kenpom.com officially recognizes the Big Ten as last season’s winner) The good news is that with more games, the chance of tie decreases.
I’m not sure who decided that Boston College would be the squad that the 15-team ACC would be required to sit out (Virginia Tech actually finished last in the conference last season), but by dropping one its worst teams the ACC becomes the favorite in this event. I have the ACC with a 42.7% chance of winning, the B1G at 34.7% and a tie at 22.6%. A total of 27 simulations resulted in an ACC sweep, while ten resulted in a sweep for the Big Ten.
Here is the schedule along with the chances of the Big Ten team winning each game. Upsets in the most extreme cases can really swing the odds, so keep this as a handy reference over the next three nights. Rutgers can totally turn the tables with a win tonight.
Nebraska (48%) at Florida State, Monday, 7:00
Rutgers (19%) at Clemson, Monday, 7:00
Pitt at Indiana (58%), Tuesday, 7:00
Minnesota (57%) at Wake Forest, Tuesday, 7:00
Syracuse at Michigan (64%), Tuesday, 7:30
N.C. State at Purdue (71%), Tuesday, 9:00
Illinois (33%) at Miami, Tuesday, 9:00
Ohio St. (17%) at Louisville, Tuesday, 9:30
Virginia Tech at Penn St. (82%), Wednesday, 7:15
Michigan St. (51%) at Notre Dame, Wednesday, 7:15
Iowa (24%) at North Carolina, Wednesday, 7:30
Georgia Tech at Northwestern (56%), Wednesday, 9:15
Virginia at Maryland (40%), Wednesday, 9:15
Duke at Wisconsin (62%), Wednesday, 9:30
And now, here’s the bar chart. Enjoy!