How will Michigan and Michigan State do in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge?

November 27, 2012 in Division I

By Patrick Hayes

The annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge starts today and Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports breaks down all of the matchups. He things both Michigan and Michigan State will do well in their matchups.

Here are his thoughts on Michigan, which plays Tuesday:

NC State (4-1) at Michigan (5-0), 7:30 p.m. EST: NC State arrives in Ann Arbor with a lot to prove. The highly touted Wolfpack haven’t looked worthy of their preseason hype, falling by 20 to Oklahoma State in Puerto Rico and narrowly escaping UNC Asheville’s upset bid the following game. Returners Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie in particular have endured some rough moments, Brown shooting just 34.8 percent from the floor and Leslie fouling out with 17 minutes to go against the Cowboys. It won’t be easy for the Wolfpack to rebound in Ann Arbor, however, as Michigan is coming off a NIT Season Tip-Off title and has one of the nation’s best backcourts. Predicted winner: Michigan

And his thoughts on Michigan State, which plays Wednesday:

Michigan State (5-1) at Miami (3-1), 7:30 p.m. EST: It’s hard to know which Michigan State team you’re going to get these days when the Spartans take the floor. Is it the one that upset Kansas on a neutral floor in Atlanta? Or is it the one that got beat by rebuilding UConn in Germany and barely escaped Boise State and Louisiana-Lafayette in East Lansing? Michigan State will need a far better effort to win on the road at a talented but erratic Miami team, especially with the Spartans’ top freshman, Gary Harris, sidelined the next couple weeks with a shoulder injury. The key will be whether Keith Appling gets enough help from Branden Dawson and the frontcourt to overcome Miami’s high-scoring duo of Durand Scott and Shane Larkin. Predicted winner: Michigan State

Overall, Eisenberg things the Big Ten will win 8-4. The Michigan-NC State matchup should be a great game, but the Indiana-North Carolina game should be highly entertaining as well.

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