March Madness is still four months away, but Wednesday offered a potential taste of what is to come this spring. With the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge in the final moments Wednesday, Georgia guard Justin Hill knocked down a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to not only give the Bulldogs a 68-66 win, but give the SEC a 7-7 draw in the first edition of the event.
Seven games were played in the first leg of the event Tuesday and the SEC took a 4-3 advantage into the final day before the ACC won four of the final seven games. Overall, ranked SEC teams went 1-4 and ranked teams from the ACC finished 1-2. UNC and Kentucky were the lone ranked teams that avoided an upset.
The two marquee matchups of the event didn't disappoint. No. 17 UNC made a statement in a 100-92 win over No. 10 Tennessee at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Arkansas secured a 80-75 upset win over No. 7 Duke in front of a rowdy crowd at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Razorbacks suffered a handful of losses during the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament last week before delivering their biggest win of the young season. The victory over Duke marked Eric Musselman's 100th victory at the school.
In previous years, the ACC competed against the Big Ten in the annual Big Ten/ACC challenge. The event came to an end last season, however, after the Big Ten signed a new lucrative media rights deal that did not feature ESPN. From there, the newly formed ACC/SEC Challenge has emerged.
Wednesday's ACC/SEC Challenge scores
No. 17 North Carolina 100, No. 10 Tennessee 92: The Tar Heels became the first team to score 60 points in a half against Tennessee since Feb. 15, 2006 and a complete team effort helped UNC record its biggest win of the young season. Armando Bacot, Harrison Ingram and RJ Davis each scored over 20 points and star freshman Elliot Cadeau dished out 10 assists in the win. For Tennessee, star transfer forward Dalton Knecht scored a season-high 37 points.
Arkansas 80, No. 7 Duke 75: Trevon Brazile scored 19 points and connected on 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and Khalif Battle added 21 off the bench to help the Razorbacks pull off one of the biggest wins in the Musselman era. Arkansas was coming off consecutive losses to Memphis and North Carolina before bouncing back in a big way despite a late push by the Blue Dervils. Duke star big man Kyle Filipowski recorded a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Virginia 59, No. 14 Texas A&M 47: The Cavaliers put on an impressive defensive performance to hold the Aggies to 47 points and used a strong second half to pull away after falling behind late in the final moments of the first 20 minutes of action. All five Virginia starters scored in double figures, while simultaneously holding preseason All-American candidate Wade Taylor lV to a season-low nine points.
Wake Forest 82, Florida 71: Wake Forest outscored Florida 50-35 in the second half to pull off a home win behind big performances from Hunter Sallis and Andrew Carr. After going 0-2 against SEC opponents during the first three weeks of the season, the Demon Deacons recorded their biggest win of the season at home to move to 4-3. Florida's Riley Kugel recorded his third 20+ point performance of the season.
Boston College 80, Vanderbilt 62: Quinten Post scored 24 points and Chaudell Harris Jr. added 22 to help Boston College coast to a blow out win after a dominant first half of play. The Eagles held Vanderbilt to 23 points through the first 20 minutes of action and they were able to break a two-game losing streak after a 4-0 start to the season.
Georgia 68, Florida State 66: Perhaps the most exciting finish of the night happened in Tallahassee, Florida. Hill knocked down a tough jumper to give the Bulldogs the win. Wednesday marked Georgia's third game against an ACC team and they hold a 2-1 record against the conference.
Auburn 74, Virginia Tech 57: Tigers star big man Johni Broome had his best performance of the season in the win over the Hokies. Auburn was in control throughout thanks to 30 points and 13 rebounds from Broome. The Tigers were able to hold Virginia Tech star guard Sean Pedulla to his worst performance of the season.
Tuesday's ACC/SEC Challenge scores
- No. 12 Kentucky 95, No. 8 Miami 73: The Wildcats had the most impressive showing of any team on Day 1. Kentucky outscored Miami 53-36 in the second half to secure a statement win. Five Kentucky players scored in double figures and Reed Sheppard had a team-high 19 points off the bench. Star freshman Justin Edwards scored 11 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting.
- Syracuse 80, LSU 57: Speaking of big wins, the Orange secured the biggest victory of the Adrian Autry era by knocking off the Tigers at the JWA Wireless Dome. Star guard Judah Mintz exploded for a season-high 33 points and added five rebounds and five assists in the victory.
- Missouri 71, Pitt 64: The Tigers went on the road and knocked off the Panthers behind 21 points from Sean East ll. After suffering a devastating home loss to Jackson State earlier this month, Mizzou appears to be back on track.
- South Carolina 65, Notre Dame 53: Gamecocks star Meechie Johnson scored a career-high 29 points in the 65-53 win over the Fighting Irish. South Carolina improved to 6-0 on the season, which is its best start since the 2016-17. After Notre Dame took a two point lead midway through the second half, South Carolina closed the game on a 27-13 run.
- Georgia Tech 67, No. 21 Mississippi State 59: The Yellow Jackets upset the No. 21 Bulldogs behind a 22-point, 12-rebound outing from Myles Kelly. MSU started the season 6-0 and has been without potential All-American big man Tolu Smith due to injury.
- Ole Miss 72, NC State 52: The Rebels improved to 6-0 in the Chris Beard era with a blowout win over NC State at him in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss forward Jaemyn Brakefield scored a season-high 25 points and Allen Flanigan recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
- Clemson 85, No. 23 Alabama 77: In the final matchup on Day 1 of the ACC/SEC Challenge, the Tigers went into Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and upset the Crimson Tide. Clemson star big man PJ Hall scored 21 points and added eight rebounds and four blocks to move the Tigers to 6-0.