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The Northeastern game.

Northeastern Huskies
Current record: 5-4
Current RPI: 92
Current Sagarin: 142
Current Pomeroy: 184
2007-08 record: 14-17
2007-08 RPI: 173
2007-08 Sagarin: 169
2007-08 Pomeroy: 157
Series: IU leads 2-0
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 9 pm, BTN

A clear dividing line has emerged in IU's season. IU currently is 0-5 against the top 100 of the Pomeroy ratings (St. Joseph's is ranked lowest at #93) and 5-0 against 101 and below (TCU, at #102, is the highest ranked team that IU has defeated). Of course, IU was close to losing two of the sub-100 games (IUPUI and Chaminade) and hasn't come close to beating a team in the current top 100. The good news for IU is that Northeastern now ranks 181 in the Pomeroy ratings. The bad news for IU is that every Big Ten team is ranked #61 or higher, including four teams in the top 20 (yeah, I'm not sure if I believe in Northwestern, either, but the conference is going to be the subject of a post down the road). I'm glad to see the Big Ten on the road back to respectability, but the timing isn't good for this year's IU team.

In most respects, Northeastern's defense is nearly as bad as IU's offense. The exception, and a cause for concern for IU, is that NU forces turnovers on 24 percent of its defensive possessions, good enough for #40 in D-I. Consistent with that, NU steals the ball on 12 percent of its defensive possession. Still, opponents have shot fairly well against the Huskies, and they don't rebound well on the defensive end, either. On offense, Northeastern is a below average shooting team, but maintains a middle-of-the-pack offense (just over 1 point per possession, ranking 170 nationally in raw rating, 192 in adjusted) by taking very good care of the ball (less than 19 percent turnover percentage) and decent offensive rebounding (34 percent). Right now, IU's only defensive strength is forcing turnovers and steals. So, it will be interesting to see how each team response to the other team's defense.