The Big Ten dominated the ACC in this year's challenge, winning 8 of 12 games to notch its third straight victory. Here's a look at which players' and teams' stock rose and fell in the past 48 hours:
Stock Rising: Ohio State's championship hopes
No team in America has defeated two better teams this season than Ohio State, which now can add a dominant victory over Duke to a narrow win over Florida. The Buckeyes boast national player of the year candidate Jared Sullinger, high-scoring wing William Buford and hard-nosed defensive stopper Aaron Craft. When all three play as well as they did against the Blue Devils, only a handful of teams in the nation can even stay competitive.
Stock Falling: North Carolina's aura of invincibility
North Carolina deserves credit for outlasting Wisconsin in a game that was played at the Badgers' pace, but a wobbly 60-57 home victory in the Tar Heels' first game after losing to UNLV is still a tad disconcerting. It wasn't until Harrison Barnes took control of the game on his way to 14 second-half points that North Carolina was finally able to open up a lead of more than a couple points. That suggests the Tar Heels will enter Rupp Arena on Saturday as perhaps a slight underdog, something many wouldn't have expected even a week ago.
Stock Rising: Indiana's NCAA tournament hopes
Indiana emerging from a game at NC State with a hard-fought victory signaled that it's time to take the Hoosiers seriously as NCAA tournament contenders.The arrival of highly touted freshman Cody Zeller and the emergence of guards Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo had propelled Indiana to an undefeated start, but this was a step up in class. The Hoosiers have now won back-to-back road games after going 1-30 on the road in Tom Crean's first three seasons there.
Stock Falling: Virginia Tech's NCAA tournament hopes
Looking for a reason the Hokies failed to beat a Minnesota team without both Mbakwe and starting center Ralph Sampson III? Look no further than a scoreless night from veteran guard Dorenzo Hudson. The fifth-year senior put up 31 points in Virginia Tech's third game of the season against Florida International, but he has been off the mark ever since, sinking just 8 of 34 shots in four subsequent games. If the Hokies narrowly miss the NCAA tournament yet again this season, losses like this will be the reason.
Stock Rising: Wake Forest's hopes of not finishing last in ACC
A win at Nebraska might not have caused much excitement during Wake Forest's heyday, but it provides a glimmer of hope for the Demon Deacons coming off last season's 24-loss debacle. Wake Forest held Nebraska leading scorer Bo Spencer in check and benefited from a 13-point, 12-rebound effort from sophomore center Carson Desrosiers. Are the Demon Deacons an NCAA tournament contender? Absolutely not. Are they better than Boston College? Yes.
Stock Falling: Iowa's hopes of not finishing last in the Big Ten
That talk of Iowa being a Big Ten sleeper sure has quieted down in a hurry, hasn't it? That's what lopsided losses to Creighton, Campbell and Clemson will do. The 71-55 home loss to the Tigers on Tuesday was especially dispiriting considering Clemson has already fallen to Coastal Carolina and College of Charleston this season. Melsahn Basabe and Matt Gatens combined to shoot 2 of 12 from the field, not nearly good enough to keep the Hawkeyes competitive.
Stock Rising: Minnesota's Rodney Williams
Playing full time at power forward for the first time since high school in the wake of Trevor Mbakwe's season-ending knee injury earlier this week, Williams enjoyed his best game of the season. The springy 6-foot-7 junior scored 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a home win over Virginia Tech that suggested we shouldn't pile dirt on Minnesota's season just yet. It is still a long shot that the Gophers can win without Mbakwe, but they'll need this kind of performance consistently from Williams to have any hope.
Stock Falling: Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz
The idea that Bruesewitz was ready to make a leap forward this season has taken a hit over the first month of the season. The junior forward is averaging 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game, modest numbers highlighted by a scoreless game against North Carolina on Wednesday night. Wisconsin is getting production from other big men, most notably Jared Berggren, but it could use more from Bruesewitz.
Stock Rising: Austin Rivers' crossover
Even though Duke was disappointing against Ohio State, you couldn't help come away impressed with Austin Rivers' ability to get to the rim anytime he wants. He scored 22 points and showcased a crossover dribble that's as fast and low as anyone's across the country. The problem with Rivers' game is that he cannot create for others yet, but he at least gives Duke a dimension it otherwise lacks with his ability to score off the dribble.
Stock Falling: Florida State's offense
There's no shame in losing at the Breslin Center or even in being held in check by Michigan State's always stingy defense, but Florida State's offensive futility continues to hinder this program's development. Twenty percent three-point shooting and 18 turnovers prevented the Seminoles from even eclipsing 50 points in a 65-49 loss to the Spartans, the third defeat in a row for a Florida State team that started 5-0.
- Ohio State
- Virginia Tech
- Florida State
- North Carolina