Coming off the first win in eight years in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, ACC teams now resume tuning up for what figures to be another heated battle for conference supremacy. Nine wins in 14 games was a fairly emphatic statement, though the season is still in its embryonic stage.
The first weekend of December within the ACC has three contests worth checking out, with all three offering challenges to conference teams. One takes place on Friday night, while the latter two will tip off Saturday afternoon. The remainder of the conference tilts will most likely serve as tune-ups while teams prepare for the start of conference play.
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) December 2, 2016
December 2nd: Duquesne at Pittsburgh 7 PM ET
This intra-city battle has the 6-1 Panthers battling the 3-5 Dukes, with Pittsburgh having displayed a clear advantage throughout this rivalry’s recent history. The Panthers have won the last 15 contests and 25 of the last 27, yet because these two schools are just two miles apart, emotions will be high for this latest edition of the City Game. Pittsburgh will be feeling extra confident after their ACC-Big Ten Challenge victory over a talented Maryland team.
Pittsburgh has gotten off to a strong start, but will have to contend with Duquesne’s fast-paced play. New Panthers head coach Kevin Stallings has an 0-2 record against Duquesne, though both of those came while coaching at Illinois State.
December 3rd: Georgia Tech at Tennessee 1 PM ET
The Yellow Jackets were one of the ACC teams to lose against the Big Ten, dropping a 67-60 contest at Penn State. Poor shooting and 17 turnovers proved to be deadly to Tech, though they still enter this game with a 4-2 mark. The duo of Quinton Stephens and Ben Lammers produced in that game, while freshman Josh Okogie still leads the team in scoring.
Despite having a 2-3 record, the Volunteers acquitted themselves nicely in the Maui Invitational by making both Oregon and Wisconsin sweat. Having a relatively young squad, Tennessee took the Ducks to overtime before falling short. Robert Hubbs III is the team’s current leading scorer, while Detrick Mostella can be dangerous from long range.
December 3rd: West Virginia at Virginia 2 PM ET
The sixth-ranked Cavaliers will have to contend with a Mountaineers squad that plays at a frenzied pace, yet also inflicts a harassing defense on opponents. Virginia will be putting its 24-game home winning streak on the line in this matchup, but does have a knack for avoiding turnovers.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins who exudes intensity will likely have to contend with a four-guard lineup that was successful for the Cavaliers. However, his Mountaineers offense has broken the 100-point threshold in half of their six games, five of them ending with a victory.