Here We Go: An NU Fan's Guide to Winning the Big Ten Tournament

You're probably thinking Northwestern can't make the NCAA Tournament.

Well guess what: WE CAN, AND I'LL TELL YOU HOW WE WILL IN PAINSTAKING DETAIL.

Four games, for the rest of our lives, after the jump.

It's possible, so, HERE WE GO. (I didn't have to add that, but I did anyway, because it's fun to yell.)

Thursday, 2:30: Minnesota Golden Gophers

We know NU can beat this team: it just happened Wednesday. The Golden Gophers are on a mega-slide, having lost eight of nine since beating NU earlier in the year (although they have a chance to pick their heads up against Penn State. You gotta hope they lose that game to completely demoralize them before playing NU.) Without Al Nolen, who is working to come back, this team doesn't have much of an offensive rhythm and struggled to get the ball to the Trevor Mbakwe in the post even though he's clearly better than anybody on NU. This game is pretty much a must-win when it comes to NU's NIT chances, and it's really a game they should win against a Minny squad in disarray.

 

Friday, noon, Ohio State Buckeyes

They're the best team in the country. But in front of a relatively raucous home crowd, NU was able to nearly knock off the then-undefeated Buckeyes. NU played what had to have been its best defensive game of the year in the matchup zone, and had a chance to take the lead with under 30 seconds, despite missing John Shurna with a concussion. The Cats had a gameplan that worked: let Sullinger get his - nobody on NU could stop that even if they tried - but guarded the perimeter tightly and only let OSU attempt eight threes. Jared Sullinger can hurt the Cats, but Bill Carmody is aware that the guy on OSU who can murder NU is Jon Diebler. Mike Capocci should draw that assignment. It sounds weird, but I feel a lot more comfortable going up against Ohio State than I do going up against Purdue or Wisconsin.

Saturday, 1:40, Illinois or Michigan

NU beat both these teams at home, so they're not super-scary. Michigan is the team you want - NU could have had a win on the road, but shot themselves out of the game and also let Jordan Morgan go pretty much unguarded after Darius Morris got penetration on about 38 plays. Illinois, on the other hand, simply looked light years better than NU in Champaign. Michigan is beatable if you can keep Morris and Tim Hardaway on the perimeter and turn them into shooters. Illinois is probably only beatable if Demetri McCamey decides not to show up again - but it's happened before.

 

Sunday, the ship

It's likely Purdue or Wisconsin. To be honest, this is stupid.

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