Wolverine and Spartan Men’s Basketball Teams lose in ACC / Big Ten Challenge

Photo Credit:  Aaron J. Thornton
Credit: Aaron J. Thornton
In Ann Arbor on Tuesday night, the Michigan Wolverines came up just short in upsetting the Virginia Cavaliers in the annual ACC / Big Ten Conference challenge. The Wolverines led a majority of the game, including leading by 11 points at half time, but the #3 ranked Cavaliers came back in the second half to win the game 70-68 and stay undefeated.  

The Maize and Blue played their best half of the season, shooting over 60% from the field including a remarkable 53% from behind the 3 point arc in the first half. In the second half, the red hot shooting disappeared as the Wolverines shot only 38% from the field and a dismal 16% from 3 point range. Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson led all scorers in the game with 23 points. He also added 7 rebounds. For Virginia, Reece Beekman had a team high 18 points.  

About three hours away in South Bend, Indiana, it was the Michigan State Spartans taking on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in their matchup of the ACC / Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night. MSU, playing without Jaden Aikens and Malik Hall due to injuries, fell behind early and found themselves down 39-16 midway through the first half. Behind the hot shooting hand of Cormac Ryan of Notre Dame, 19 points and 5-5 from 3 point range in the first half, the Irish went into halftime with a 42-24 lead.  

The Spartans cut the lead down to 14 points with about eight minutes left in the game but they could not pull any closer, losing 52-70. With the loss, MSU falls to 5-3 on the season. Michigan State had three players score in double digits in the game (AJ Hoggard – 15 points, Joey Hauser -12 points, and Tyson Walker – 12 points).  Ryan of Notre Dame led all in the game with 23 points.

For the ACC / Big Ten challenge overall, the ACC won the 24th and final year of the challenge 8-6. Next up, MSU will take on the Northwestern Wildcats at home on Sunday and open up the Big Ten season.  Michigan will travel across the pond to London in an overseas game against the #19 Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday as well.

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