Purdue Basketball: Louisville Rematch Probably B1G/ACC Challenge Headliner

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Matt Painter’s Purdue basketball team, along with everybody else participating in the B1G/ACC Challenge, learned their draw today. Purdue will host Louisville, in a rematch of last year’s contest won by the Cardinals, 71-64, at the arena with a name too stupid for us to cite here.

Game date, time, and television details will be announced later this summer. The 18th edition of the B1G/ACC Challenge doesn’t have a true headliner, nor a definitive undercard leader. Or to put it in WWE terms, we don’t really know the Heavyweight championship belt bout, and the Intercontinental title tilt. However, Purdue-Louisville be as big, if not bigger than all on the slate.

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Louisville is ranked in everyone’s preseason top 10, despite seeing early NBA Draft declarations and enduring salacious scandal a couple years ago. Rick Pitino, who always keeps his teams nationally relevant, welcomes back point guard Quentin Snider and V.J. King, as well as Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spalding.

Although Biggie Swanigan is gone, Purdue basketball returns six of their top seven players from last year’s 27-8 team that reached the Sweet 16 and won the Big Ten outright. Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter also welcomes a five-person recruiting class that is ranked No. 26 by 247Sports.

If not Purdue-Louisville, then Duke-Indiana would be this year’s heavyweight title fight, although that’s more about history and tradition than it is current status quo. IU is down as a program right now and just beginning to rebuild through the home run hire of Archie Miller.

Notre Dame at Michigan State, Michigan at North Carolina, and Maryland at Rutgers round out the top five clashes on the schedule, with a definite drop-off in anticipation after that.

The ACC won last year’s Challenge by the count of 9-5, to regain possession of the Commissioners Cup. The Big Ten has won five of the last eight Challenges (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015). The ACC and Big Ten split the 2012 and 2013 Challenges, with each conference notching six victories. Until 2009, the B1G NEVER won the challenge, with the ACC taking each edition from 1999-2008.

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2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups

·         Northwestern at Georgia Tech

·         Duke at Indiana

·         Notre Dame at No. 3 Michigan State

·         Miami at Minnesota

·         Penn State at NC State

·         Boston College at Nebraska

·         Michigan at No. 7 North Carolina

·         Clemson at Ohio State

·         No. 10 Louisville at Purdue basketball

·         Florida State at Rutgers

·         Maryland at Syracuse

·         Wisconsin at Virginia

·         Iowa at Virginia Tech

·         Illinois at Wake Forest

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

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