It was announced Monday that the ACC and SEC will begin a challenge next season in men’s and women’s basketball and I think this will benefit the Clemson Men’s Basketball program.
This announcement brings an end to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge which Clemson participated in last night, which is a perfect example of why the new arrangement will benefit the Tigers.
Clemson played Penn State and while the Tigers aren’t a blue blood on the basketball court, it’s hard to think of a less inspiring matchup than Penn State. Unless it’s Northwestern. Or Rutgers. Or Minnesota. You get the point.
There’s a natural rivalry when it comes to the ACC and SEC, no matter whether it’s football, baseball or basketball that doesn’t exist with the Big Ten (save for Ohio State, maybe). That’s not to say the Big Ten doesn’t have good basketball programs. They have excellent programs up and down the conference.
But the rivalries aren’t “natural” like Clemson and South Carolina, Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU or Alabama, to name a few.
Clemson men’s basketball will benefit from the ACC/SEC Challenge that begins next season
The event will begin next season and will be carried on an ESPN platform with each conference having the same number of home games. The matchups have yet to be determined, so perhaps I’m putting the cart before the horse, but in concept, I think this is an event that will showcase the Tigers more in their general recruiting area.
In addition to the annual game with South Carolina, Clemson plays some of the SEC teams on an occasional basis and for my money, these would be much more attractive than your average Big Ten opponent, despite last nights game being a pretty good watch for a late November, non-conference game.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge was the first event of its kind and began in 1999, while the SEC/Big 12 Challenge began in 2013 on the men’s side and ran from 2014 to 2021 on the women’s side.