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Illinois-Duke matchup headlines 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Digitalfyme.com

Illinois-Duke matchup headlines 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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The matchups for the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge were announced Friday, highlighted by a likely top-10 showdown between Duke and Illinois.

The games will take place Tuesday, Dec. 8, and Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Illinois’ trip to Duke highlights the first slate of games, as the Fighting Illini will open the campaign ranked in the top 10 after bringing back Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn from last season’s team. Duke is also likely to be ranked in the top 10, as the Blue Devils bring in yet another top-10 recruiting class.

Iowa and Wooden Award favorite Luka Garza will host North Carolina on Dec. 8. The Hawkeyes are one of the Big Ten title favorites, and the Tar Heels and their four McDonald’s All America freshmen will hope to return to form after North Carolina struggled mightily last season.

Other games on Dec. 8: Syracuse at Rutgers, Ohio State at Notre Dame, Purdue at Miami, Boston College at Minnesota and Penn State at Virginia Tech.

The second set of games is led by a matchup between two of the most consistent programs and coaches in the country: Tom Izzo’s Michigan State at Tony Bennett’s Virginia. The Spartans split last season’s Big Ten title, and Virginia, winner of the 2019 national championship, could open the season ranked in the top five.

Two other potential top-25 matchups will take place on Dec. 9: Louisville at Wisconsin and Indiana at Florida State. The Badgers won a share of the Big Ten championship last season and will be among the favorites again this season, and Louisville and 2020 ACC champion Florida State will hope to stay in the top four of the league after losing some key players. The Hoosiers will be a borderline top-25 team entering the season.

Other games on Dec. 9: NC State at Michigan, Maryland at Clemson, Georgia Tech at Nebraska and Pittsburgh at Northwestern.

Wake Forest will not take part in the Challenge for the second time in three years.

The Big Ten won last season’s Challenge 8-6, but the ACC has the overall series lead at 12-6-3. The Challenge was established in 1999.

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Sunil Kumar

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Sunil Kumar

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