Monday, February 27, 2012

Feb. 27, 2012: We can all start 0-0.

Welcome back to our not-so-regularly scheduled blogging of Bleed Wildcat Purple. It's been, oh, a little over a year since I did this thing. Unfortunately, a little thing called "life" got in the way, and I found myself unable to take any time at all to keep working on the blog. I hope you understand. At any rate, I have a night to myself, so I figured I could dust this thing off and try to start it up, even for just a little bit. I'm not sure whether to call my first NU blogging experience a success or failure, but regardless, today is a new day, and perhaps this blog will be a new(er) blog.

As Coach Fitz always states, "We're 0-0 at the start of every week." That's basically where the 'Cats basketball team stands right now, working to play into the Field of 68 for their first-ever Big Dance (that's the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, for those of you just tuning in, like me). We have two games to go in the regular season -- one home, one away -- and then we get into Big Ten Tournament time. Suffice it to say that we probably need to go 3-2 in order to make the tournament. Here's the upcoming slate:

Wednesday, 2/29 v. OSU - Remember that game in Columbus back in December? You know, the one where we got trounced by 33? Yeah, I'm still trying to forget that one. Luckily, the Buckeyes haven't been doing so well as of late -- they're 2-3 in their last five after losses against MSU, Michigan and Wisconsin. Jared Sullinger has played himself out of POY contention. Perfect timing for us, right? Ehhhh... Aaron Craft and William Buford can shoot the three with the best of them, and I just expect Sullinger to get really pissed off and go 20-10 against us. But, stranger things have happened, right? We played them close twice last year... maybe this year we get over the hump.

Saturday, 3/3 @ Iowa - The game that gives me the creeps. This team is chaos theory personified. They played like junk on the road against us the first time around, as we cruised to an easy 83-64 win. However, Matt Gatens has been like a bull in a china shop recently, punishing Wisconsin for 33 points en route to a 67-66 victory. Iowa swept the Badgers this year.

Let me repeat -- Iowa swept the Badgers this year.

Iowa is with NU at 7-9 in the conference right now. They've lost to Nebraska, Illinois, and Penn State once each. They've also beaten Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. No one in the history of mankind can figure this one out. Which team will show up at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday? If it's Good Iowa, we can just pack it in and call it a season.

Thursday, 3/8: BTT Game 1 - Likely against Minnesota or Illinois. We've beaten each of these teams once, and luckily for us, they've both been tanking. Up until the Illini's win against Iowa yesterday, the Illini had lost six straight. Minnesota hasn't done any better, having lost six of their last seven. Both of these would likely be close matchups, but we've pulled Ws against both of these teams already this year. Let's hope lightning strikes twice.

Friday, 3/9: BTT Game 2 (IF we advance) - If we're the 7 seed, it'll likely be Ohio State or Michigan. If we're the 8 or 9 seed, it will be Michigan State. Of the three teams, OSU is probably the least beatable. We've already beaten MSU this year, and we've been damn close to beating Michigan -- twice!!! -- this year. Seriously, couldn't we just be 9-7 instead of 7-9 right now and not have the BTT mean so much?

I'm not going to go any farther than that, because we have NEVER played into the weekend. Also, if we manage to get this far, I think our NCAA Tourney chances will be pretty good.

Hoo, boy. It's been 45 minutes writing this, and I feel like I'm having heart palpitations. It's great to be a 'Cat.

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