The ACC and SEC announced on Monday the creation of the ACC-SEC Challenge for men’s and women’s basketball, which will begin early in the 2023-24 season. The Miami basketball programs for men and women will benefit more from playing SEC programs than they did from Big 10 programs.
The idea of interconference challenges began in the 1980s with the ACC and the Big East. After the Big East ended the challenge in 1991 the ACC did not add a new one until the matchups with the Big 10 began in 1999 which ends with the creation of the ACC-SEC challenge being announced on Monday.
The creation of the ACC-SEC challenge will allow the Miami basketball programs to play regional rivalries more than playing Big 10 teams did. The Miami men’s basketball team will host Rutgers at 7:15 PM on Wednesday in its final ACC-Big 10 challenge game. The Miami women will host 22nd-ranked Michigan on Thursday.
Rutgers is a good regional rivalry matchup for Miami as former Big East rivals and with the number of alums and people living in South Florida from the Northeast. The Miami women will be playing its third midwest opponent this season. Miami split games in Chicago versus DePaul and Loyola in Chicago earlier this month.
Miami is 9-6 all-time in the ACC-Big 10 challenge and has won seven of its last eight before hosting Rutgers. The Miami Women’s Basketball team is 6-6 all-time in the ACC-Big 10 challenge with losses in each of the last three seasons. The Miami men’s basketball team is 6-1 this season and the women are 6-2.
Potential games against SEC programs should be far more intriguing to Miami fans than the majority of the Big 10. The matchups are not always in direct correlation to the preseason polls. Using that approximation an Auburn-Miami rematch from the 2022 NCAA Tournament would have been interesting in 2022.
The Hurricanes and Tigers rosters have changed significantly but it would have generated more interest than the Big 10 teams Miami has traditionally been matched to play against. Rutgers was picked eighth in the Big 10 this season. The Miami women’s basketball team was picked to finish sixth in the preseason polls.
Michigan is picked fifth by the coaches in their preseason poll. The SEC is a much stronger conference for women’s basketball than the men. The ACC-Big 10 Challenge makes more sense geographically. Four ACC-SEC rivalries are played annually in football. Hopefully, Miami will frequently play Florida in the ACC-SEC challenge.