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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Whose stock rose and fell on the second day of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge?

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Shane Larkin (US Presswire)

Behind impressive wins by Miami, Virginia and Duke on Wednesday night, the ACC rallied to forge a 6-6 tie in this year's ACC-Big Ten Challenge. For more on the Blue Devils' victory over Ohio State, click here. Below is a look at who else's stock went up or went down:

Stock up: Miami's backcourt

With Durand Scott sidelined by suspension, Miami lost at home to Florida Gulf Coast and looked far too erratic to do much damage in the ACC. Now that the senior guard is back, the Hurricanes are starting to show why many projected they would finish in the top four in the league and make the NCAA tournament this season. Scott, Shane Larkin and Trey McKinney-Jones combined for 48 points as Miami overpowered 13th-ranked Michigan State in the second half on Wednesday en route to a 67-59 win. Nobody will question Miami's talent after this win. The key will be whether the Hurricanes can play at this level or close to it consistently.

Stock down: Michigan State's frontcourt

It's not hard to find the common thread in Michigan State's two losses this season: The Spartans got nothing out of their frontcourt. In the season opener against UConn, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne combined for 12 points. In Wednesday's 67-58 loss at Miami, Nix and Payne managed a mere seven points. Payne appeared to lack focus against the Hurricanes, while Nix wasn't very aggressive, sometimes establishing good position only to pass it back to the perimeter. Considering that Gary Harris has returned from injury and that Michigan State had problems defending ball screens Wednesday, it may not be long before Tom Izzo slides Branden Dawson to power forward and brings either Payne or Nix off the bench.

Stock up: D.J. Byrd

With Clemson's Milton Jennings sidelined Wednesday night due to suspension, D.J. Byrd helped Purdue take advantage. A 21-4 first-half spurt sparked by five of Byrd's six opening-half 3-pointers provided the Boilermakers a 23-9 lead, an advantage that ballooned to 20 by halftime. Byrd finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds. The victory was huge for a Purdue team that already has losses to Bucknell, Oregon State and Villanova. The Boilermakers may not have the talent to contend in the Big Ten this season, but this was an encouraging enough road effort to suggest they'll still be competitive. 

Stock down: Kohl Center's invincibility

Wisconsin hadn't lost a November home game since 1997 entering Wednesday's game and it was 85-6 at home in non-league games, but Virginia bucked those odds. The Cavs beat the Badgers at their own game, winning 60-54 to become the sixth visiting team to win at Kohl Center this calendar year. If Wisconsin is going to defend its home court more consistently as this season goes along, the Badgers are going to have to improve in some key areas. They were out-rebounded 36-18 by Virginia, they lack a guard who consistently creates off the dribble with Jordan Taylor and Josh Gasser gone and they don't get to the free throw line often enough.

Stock up: Joseph Bertrand

Georgia Tech was leading by four and threatening to post an impressive road win when Bertrand salvaged the game for Illinois. The junior guard scored 10 straight points on a pair of layups and a pair of 3-pointers, single-handedly transforming a 58-54 deficit into a 64-58 lead. Illinois pulled away for a 75-62 win to remain undefeated this season. Bertrand's 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting were a season high for the 6-foot-6 guard, who averages less than eight points per game.

Stock down: Miami's crowd

Hate to be the one to tell college students how to celebrate, but was beating Michigan State by eight at home in late-November really worth storming the floor? Look, I understand Miami doesn't beat ranked teams every week — or even every season — but the Hurricanes were one-point favorites in this game as of this morning. Applaud the victory, congratulate the team on a great effort, but save rushing the court for a crucial league win over Duke or a victory on a buzzer beater.

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