Brian: Corey Raji had a huge game as the Eagles went into Crisler Arena and knocked off the Michigan Wolverines 62-58. Raji finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds, while Trapani registered his first double-double of the season (11 points, 12 rebounds). Going into this game, no one really expected BC to have a chance to beat Michigan without Rakim Sanders. Here is what Michigan coach John Beilein had to say about the game.
"This is obviously a pretty good team, or we're really a bad team ... There was never a doubt who the better team was out there today."
I think this game's result was due to a little of A) and a little of B). The Eagles put together a good game but the Wolverine shot very poorly from the field (32.3 percent from the field and 26.5 percent from 3-point range). Taking a ten point lead into halftime, BC used a 7-0 run to start the second half to put the game out of reach. I think the biggest surprise was the edge that the Eagles had in rebounding. BC outrebounded Michigan 41-26. Even though Michigan mostly plays with a four guard set, I was surprised at how successful the Eagles were on the glass.
Despite BC’s win in Ann Arbor, the ACC ends up losing their first ACC-Big Ten Challenge - 6 games to 5. BC is now the only program that is undefeated in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge (BC is 4-0). Duke’s loss to Wisconsin is the Blue Devils lone blemish in the eleven ACC-Big Ten Challenges. In your opinion, which result in the Challenge was most surprising? And which program’s performance was the most disappointing?
Jeff: I would have to say that Duke losing to Wisconsin was the most surprising and disappointing lost. Duke was the highest ranked ACC school this week and even got a #1 vote. The best team in the ACC should be able to beat a team that probably isn't the best Big Ten team and Duke trailed the entire game.
Brian: I'll agree with you that the Duke result was the most surprising, but you have to go with the Clemson loss to Illinois as the most disappointing. The Tigers led by 20 at halftime, and led by 23 with 16:43 to go. The Illini used a 21-1 run in a span of a little more than 4 minutes to close the gap on the Tigers. The win is the greatest comeback in Illini basketball history. The Tigers were a ranked team at home and couldn't close out the Illini. Certainly this has to be the most disappointing result simply based on the way the game unfolded.
Help put the conference’s first loss in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, does it even matter?
Jeff: This means absolutely nothing. It matters for conference RPI but we lost 5-6 so winning 6-5 would not have had much effect on RPI in the end. Hats off to the Big Ten who is always at a disadvantage to the ACC since the ACC gets to play every team except the worst team from the previous season.