Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, May 13, 2015

The Big Ten announced the matchups Wednesday for the 17th annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge. And, there are some enticing clashes among the 14 games.

[ MORE: View Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule | Fun Challenge numbers ]

The Big Ten will look to continue its recent run of dominance in the event, winning four (2014, 2011, 2010, 2009) of the last six years and tying the other two (2012 and 2013) after the ACC won the first 10.

Here is my ranking of all 14 tilts.

1. Maryland at North Carolina, Dec. 1. It won't get much better than this clash between former ACC rivals. Both teams figure to receive consideration for the preseason No. 1 team. The Tar Heels welcome back a veteran roster from a Sweet 16 team, while the Terps are the Big Ten favorite thanks to Melo Trimble, Jake Layman, super frosh Diamond Stone and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, among others.

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2. Indiana at Duke, Dec. 2. The Hoosiers are thinking big with the likes of Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Troy Williams and freshman stud Thomas Bryant. The defending national champ Blue Devils must replace studs Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook. But Mike Krzyzewski has plenty of building blocks and a strong group of newcomers paced by McDonald's All-Americans Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard.

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3. Louisville at Michigan State, Dec. 2. Travis Trice and Branden Dawson are gone from MSU's surprise Final Four team. No biggie. Big things are expected this year with Denzel Valentine and WVU transfer Eron Harris heading a loaded roster that welcomes a nice collection of recruits led by Deyonta Davis. Rick Pitino has a lot of holes to fill: Montrezl Harrell, Anton Gill, Wayne Blackshear and Terry Rozier-all gone. U of L will have to be fueled by stud freshmen like Deng Adel, Raymond Spaulding and Donovan Mitchell.

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4. Wisconsin at Syracuse, Dec. 2. The Orange will miss Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough. But Jim Boeheim has a deep roster, led by one of the deepest backcourts in the nation. The Badgers are coming off consecutive Final Fours. What will be the encore without Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Traevon Jackson and Josh Gasser? Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are great cornerstones for irrepressible Bo Ryan.

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5. Michigan at N.C. State, Dec. 1. The Wolverines took a step back last season, largely due to season-ending injuries to Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr., but look poised for big things in 2015-16. LeVert and Walton Jr. are back, in addition to Zak Irvin, Aubrey Dawkins and Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman. Mark Gottfried has another NCAA-caliber team even with Trevor Lacey off to the NBA. Is there a better point man in the ACC than Anthony Barber? WVU transfer Terry Henderson is a keeper. And NC State has some nice young big men.

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6. Notre Dame at Illinois, Dec. 2. John Groce has the Illini on the precipice of a breakthrough. Rayvonte Rice will be missed, but Illinois gets Tracy Abrams back from injury to go with the likes of Leron Black, Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate. ND will miss Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. But Mike Brey has weapons in Zack Auguste, Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia on a top-10 team.

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7. Florida State at Iowa, Dec. 2. Fran McCaffery has the Hawkeyes rolling. Yes, Aaron White is gone, but Iowa returns the likes of Mike Gesell, Adam Woodbury and Jarrod Uthoff, who may be a star. Beware Leonard Hamilton's team, which could be an ACC sleeper. Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Remember when he exploded for 30 points in the last 4:39 of a game last year?) is an exciting player for what could be an NCAA team.

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8. Virginia at Ohio State, Dec. 1. The Cavaliers lost Justin Anderson early to the pros, but Tony Bennett has a lot of talent back with Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey. This will be a big challenge for a Buckeyes squad that is re-tooling without D'Angelo Russell, Sam Thompson and Shannon Scott, among others. A talented recruiting class led by Austin Grandstaff and Daniel Giddens must blend right away with Jae'Sean Tate and Marc Loving.

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9. Purdue at Pitt, Dec. 1. These are two programs trending in opposite directions. Matt Painter has infused the Boilermakers with lots of mojo, and expectations of a return to the NCAA tourney seem spot-on with A.J. Hammons back in the fold for a veteran squad. The Panthers not long ago were an elite program, but they are slipping under Jamie Dixon.

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10. Northwestern at Virginia Tech, Dec. 1. Buzz Williams' Hokies may be the most improved team in the ACC. And that adds juice to this underrated clash with the Wildcats, a talented bunch under Chris Collins that just may be good enough to finally reach the Big Dance. How good will Vic Law and Bryant McIntosh be?

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11. Clemson at Minnesota, Nov. 30. The Tigers and Gophers are similar in that each is striving to climb the pecking order in their respective league with good coaches-Brad Brownell and Richard Pitino. Neither team has elite talent but plenty of vet talent.

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12. Miami at Nebraska, Dec. 1. The Hurricanes will be very good after getting left out (some felt wrongly) from the Big Dance last year. Plus, Jim Larranaga is a good coach who welcomes back most every key part of a team that lost in the NIT finals last year to Stanford. This will be a nice test for a Cornhuskers' club looking to rebound from a disappointing season. Tim Miles must build around Shavon Shields with Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford gone.

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13. Penn State at Boston College, Dec. 2. These two programs combined for 35 losses a year ago, and they both lost do-it-all guards (D.J. Newbill & Olivier Hanlan) who meant so much to their teams.

https://twitter.com/PennStateMBB/status/598550759937048577

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14. Wake Forest at Rutgers, Nov. 30. There is only one way for these programs to go-up. Danny Manning is the best thing the Demon Deacons have going for them.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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