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Can the ACC/B1G Challenge Help Stir Early College Hoops Interest?

There’s been an emphasis in recent years to create big matchups and stir interest in regular season college basketball. What NCAA and television execs are worried about is the growing reliance on March as the power point for the entire season. The term “one-month sport” has been used derisively at times to describe the dynamic surrounding college hoops attention. It is sandwiched into one of the busiest times of the sports calendar. College hoops tips off during the stretch run of college football and the NFL slate. Then it continues through the Super Bowl, only to find itself competing against the NBA when football ends.

But events like the B1G/ACC Challenge helps supplement the regular season action, and Syracuse will take on Wisconsin this year. While it might not be the sexiest potential matchup because of the rematch factor, it does have two teams that have made the Final Four in the last two seasons. Right now both teams have decent odds to win the NCAA title in April. The fresh betting odds at show that the Badgers have 40/1 odds at cutting down the net, while Syracuse has an 80/1 chance.

Duke (5/1) and Michigan State (12/1) have two of the best odds in the country, and Coach K and Izzo will do battle once again. The Spartans have lost four of their last five meetings against the Blue Devils. UNC and Indiana both have about 25/1 odds, and they’ll match up. This is a rematch of last year’s Sweet 16 game. In fact, scanning the futures of the ACC and B1G teams, the top 15 is crammed full of these two conferences. At the very least, bettors looking for an early sign on how big name teams will do in tournament-style matchups will be tuned in.

Organizers like these made-for-TV matchups to help create some national buzz to kick off the season, and the B1G/ACC Challenge should be able to do exactly that. At the very least it’ll give us an early look at how some power conference teams stack up.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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