Saturday, November 20, 2010

Men's Basketball Non-Conference Opponent Update: November 20

The basketball season is finally underway! Whoo! Northwestern has opened the season 3-0 with back-to-back ugly road wins against NIU and UT Pan-American. They continued that trek with a dominant performance against an outmanned Golden Lions squad from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. So far, so good. But there are still seven more games remaining in the non-conference schedule (not including a game against SIU-Edwardsville in late January) before we kick off Big Ten season, and we need every win possible.

Below, I've updated the status of every team that NU has faced/will be facing in November and December. We need these opponents to win as much as possible in order to bolster our RPI resume for the Big Dance. Of course, we don't want them to win against us, right?

Northern Illinois (0-2) - Recently lost a close road game to Bradley, 66-63.

UT Pan-American (1-3) - Haven't played anyone since losing to the 'Cats on Wednesday. They won against Eastern Kentucky, but have already taken beatdowns against Loyola (IL) and Indiana State.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-3) - Get this: The Golden Lions' first twelve games this season are away. Not good when Northwestern's been your closest loss so far. I just feel sorry for these guys.

Creighton (3-0) - Our next opponent has a winning record -- so far. They've taken some relatively close wins against Alabama State, NAU and Louisiana-Lafayette. They have two more home games before leaving Omaha for the first time this season to face the 'Cats. Clearly our toughest opponent so far.

Georgia Tech (3-1) - Have three solid wins so far against outmatched opponents, but took a bad stumble on the road, losing by 17 against Kennesaw. They travel to Evanston for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, so perhaps this bodes well for the 'Cats.

Long Island (2-0) - Two 20+ point wins against Norfolk State and Texas State, with the latter being a road game. Not a great team, but definitely not a pushover.

American (3-0) - One win on the road for the Eagles, but none of them have been very dominant wins. Once again, I'm glad this is a home game.

St. Francis (0-2) - Took a beatdown against Boston College on the road, then played a close one against an underwhelming South Florida. Should pretty much count this one as a win.

St. John's (1-1) OR Davidson (1-2) - Circle this game, 'Cats fans. This one's important. St. John's one loss was on the road against St. Mary's, a team that is never an easy out. Davidson's two losses are misleading, as they were competitive games against Penn and West Virginia. They turned around and redeemed themselves by beating Nebraska at home. This back-to-back series at MSG is important for establishing some type of road victories, even if they are against mediocre teams.

Mount St. Mary's (0-2) -Not the same St. Mary's as the one listed above. Their losses have come against Dayton and Cincinnati.

Current Record: 3-0
Target Non-Con Record: 9-1 (10-1 after SIU-E)
Target Big Ten Record: 10-8

Go 'Cats!

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