Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Big 10/ACC Challenge?

Capital Times (Madison, WI) writer Rob Schultz argues here that Wisconsin hasn't been getting the respect they deserve in the Big 10/ACC Challenge . (Incidentally, until this year it was called the ACC/Big 10 Challenge... does a changed name equal a changed result?) "The Badgers would like ESPN to schedule them to play a marquee Challenge game against North Carolina or Duke at the inhospitable Kohl Center."

Apparently that lack of respect got the Badgers down, as Justin Gray poured in 37 points to lead #22/23 Wake to a 91-88 victory. Game articles here and here.

Maybe Wisconsin will get their marquee matchup in 2006, but until then, here are some possible interesting matchups for the Deacs in the '06 Challenge:

-Ohio State: Wake and OSU were the final possible suitors for Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and Daequan Cook, the players responsible for giving OSU one of the top-rated recruiting classes in the nation next year.

-Illinois: #1-ranked Wake was soundly defeated at then-#5 Illinois in the Challenge in '04. With almost all the players from that game having departed by '06, Wake-Illinois would be a chance for one young team to get a solid resume win.

-Michigan State: Wake C Kyle Visser and MSU PG Drew Nietzel both hail from Grand Rapids, MI. A game in East Lansing or at a neutral site in Michigan would be a nice homecoming for Wake's only scholarship senior in '06.