Northwestern, take 2.

Northwestern Wildcats
Current record: 6-17
Big Ten record: 0-13
Current RPI: 221
Current Sagarin: 197
2006-07 record: 11-18 (2-14)
2006-07 RPI: 178
2006-07 Sagarin: 143
Series: IU leads 106-43
Last IU win: 2/3/08 (75-63 in Bloomington)
Last Northwestern win: 1/5/05 (72-53 in Evanston)
Last IU win in Evanston: 2/28/07 (69-65)
TV: 8 pm tonight, BTN
Even by the standards of Northwestern, it's fairly amazing that the Wildcats are poised to go 0-18 in the conference. While the top 4 teams in the conference are fairly good, there isn't a solid NCAA championship contender in the bunch. Yet, 15-3 may not be good enough for even a share of the conference title. That means that the lower tier is pretty bad. Minnesota and Ohio State have been decent but haven't won consistently. Penn State lost its best player to injury. Michigan and Iowa are rebuilding. Illinois has fallen apart. In other words, there are plenty of beatable teams in the conference, and Northwestern hasn't managed to defeat even one of them. The Wildcats' near miss at Iowa this week (a 53-51 loss in which the Wildcats gave up a big lead) was the first time NU has played a Big Ten team within single digits. Thanks to a great three point shooting performance that day and poor shooting by IU, NU's game at IU, a 12 point loss, was NU's next closest conference game. While that is of some concern, as are the current events at IU, the Hoosiers should win this game comfortably.
Events like those experienced by the IU team in the last few days cannot be well-timed, but IU should be able to win this game despite what might euphemistically be called the unorthodox pregame approach. For what it's worth, WTHR's morning newscast reports that all Hoosiers boarded the bus to the airport this morning.


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