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NCAA Basketball: Ranking the 2023 inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge matchups

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - FEBRUARY 18: Head Coach Eric Musselman of the Arkansas Razorbacks yells to his team during a game against the Florida Gators at Bud Walton Arena on February 18, 2023 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Gators 84-65. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - FEBRUARY 18: Head Coach Eric Musselman of the Arkansas Razorbacks yells to his team during a game against the Florida Gators at Bud Walton Arena on February 18, 2023 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Gators 84-65. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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NCAA Basketball SEC ACC Tennessee Volunteers forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) is defended by Duke Blue Devils center Kyle Filipowski Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Basketball SEC ACC Tennessee Volunteers forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) is defended by Duke Blue Devils center Kyle Filipowski Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

In recent years, many of the marquee NCAA Basketball matchups have come via various challenges between the top conferences. The first one that came to fruition was the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which started in 1999 and went on for over 20 years.

Others since were created of a similar variety, including the more recent, Big 12/SEC Challenge. That hasn’t been nearly as long but has provided some good matchups, including last year’s Kansas vs Kentucky battle. Both deals of those challenges ended and for now, are done, creating a brand new challenge for two of the top leagues in NCAA Basketball.

Next season will be the first edition of the ACC/SEC Challenge. The SEC has been viewed as either the first or second-best conference in the sport next to the Big 12. Meanwhile, the ACC has struggled in the regular season, only to get a couple of teams hot in the NCAA Tournament and make a deep run, including Miami to the Final Four last season.

It was highly anticipated to see which matchups would be set and in which building. One option that was available was Duke vs Kentucky since they don’t play each other in next season’s Champions Classic. However, that didn’t happen.

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Focusing on the men’s side, there are definitely some intriguing matchups to watch. 28 of the 29 teams in the two leagues are participating, with last year’s 4-win Louisville squad the odd man out.

With most of the rosters almost complete, we can take a closer look into these matchups and see who may have the edge on paper. Here’s a power ranking of the games in terms of appointment television.