Ask a fan of American men’s college basketball who the best conference in the land is, and you’re likely to hear one of two answers: the Big Ten (consisting of schools mostly in the Midwest) or the Atlantic Coast Conference (consisting of schools mostly along the East Coast).
The two conferences have been doing battle for the past fifteen seasons by matching up one school from each conference early on in the season. The ACC holds a significant advantage over the years, and in addition to their regular powerhouses of Duke and North Carolina, the conference has recently picked up Big East defectors Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. Last year’s national champion, Louisville, is on its way.
Still, this year the two conferences tied at six wins apiece. This year’s highlight was unranked North Carolina’s upset over top-ranked Michigan State in Chapel Hill, 79-65. The match-up brought together arguably two of the best college basketball coaches in Tom Izzo and Roy Williams. Williams’ big win calls into question just how good this UNC team is, as they also have inexplicable losses against Belmont and the University of Alabama-Birmingham to date. Michigan State hadn’t lost before falling to the Tar Heels.
It didn’t matter. The two teams battled to a 32-32 halftime tie, but from there it was all the home team. Kennedy Meeks came off the bench to lead a very balanced attack with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Other big match-ups included Michigan at Duke, Indiana at Syracuse, and Notre Dame at Iowa. The ACC’s Duke and Syracuse won their games, while the Big Ten’s Iowa also won.