With so much in flux across college basketball these days, it’s fair to wonder if the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be a casualty of circumstances. At this point, at least, it’s still a go for 2020, as Jon Rothstein reported this afternoon.
It’ll be played a little later than usual, and it does not sound like the format is due any changes. It makes sense that this event would stick on the schedule because it’s one game for the schools involved that they do not have to worry about scheduling—they’re likely busy enough with scheduling as it is.
With one non-conference contest accounted for, and with a full 20-game league slate ahead, that leaves a half dozen non-conference games for ACC schools to plot out. (The NCAA capped the season at 27 games.)
It remains to be seen what NC State will opt to do, but I imagine that the Wolfpack will be one of the teams present in the Mohegan Sun bubble as a participant in the Empire Classic—which should account for two more games, or, who knows, maybe three or four in total.
Kevin Keatts has expressed a desire to play the full 27 games this year—or at least schedule for 27, leaving room for cancellations—and so may want to get as many games as he can out of a bubble mega-event like the one proposed for the Mohegan Sun.
It’d likely make for a pretty strong (albeit brief) non-conference schedule, with the Big Ten game as the capper. And NC State should be a road team in ACC/Big Ten Challenge this year, too.