The ACC/Big Ten Challenge may not be played in a bubble in Orlando, Florida after all. According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, citing his sources, the annual inter-conference basketball event currently plans to play on the various campuses of the home schools, as it would in any other year.
Rothstein also notes the target dates for the event are Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. That would be ever-so-slightly later than the 2019 edition, which played from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4, but essentially in the same timeframe.
Sources: The ACC/Big Ten Challenges is moving forward with the plan that it will be played on campus. Current target date is December 8th and 9th.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 23, 2020
We don’t yet know which school the Michigan State Spartans will take on. We do know the Spartans will play Duke in the Champions Classic — which is expected to take place in Orlando now — and could take place the previous week, according to college basketball insider, Andy Katz. So, we can eliminate the Blue Devils. Other recent opponents for MSU in the ACC/Big Ten challenge include Louisville and Notre Dame. MSU could still be matched up with those schools, but a different opponent seems more likely.
I am just speculating, but I could definitely see a potential matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers — the program that is (still) defending national champions in college basketball. There seems to be a competitive factor in the yearly matchups, and who else for perhaps the top team in the ACC to take on than the back-to-back-to-back Big Ten champions? Michigan State and Virginia have not met since 2015, and have not played in the ACC/Big Ten challenge since 2002.
Tentative scheduling plans: Champions Classic (Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State) and Jimmy V Classic (Baylor, Rutgers, Gonzaga, Tennessee) sometime between Dec 1-5 (likely Orlando); ACC-Big Ten Challenge looking at moving to Dec. 8-9, sites TBD.— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) September 18, 2020
The ACC leads the all-time series 12-6-3. Michigan State has not fared too well in the event, with just an 8-12 mark. However, again, the Spartans are usually matched up with one of the ACC’s best teams each year.
Which school would you like to see MSU play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge? Let us know in the comments section.