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Monday Night Random Thoughts and Picks

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- Monday always means the release of new NCAA tournament projections from various bracketologists, and Northwestern didn't get much love. NU was nowhere to be found on the brackets of Cheap Rug LunardiJerry Palm, or Andy Glockner. Only SBNation's own Chris Dobbertean mentioned the 'Cats at all, naming them the 6th team out as of now. The aforementioned Glockner did discuss Northwestern during his weekly Bubble Watch, which is pretty much a must-read for any college basketball fan:

For Northwestern (16-7, 5-6, RPI: 65, SOS: 63), beating Michigan at home was a huge key to the Cats' likely late-season surge. The subsequent home win over IU kicked off an incredible run where NW has home-and-homes against all three of the league's worst teams (5-27 combined in Big Ten) in its final eight league games. Anything less than 10-8 would be awfully disappointing. Would that be enough?
GW: Purdue, at NC State (?)
BL: None, but can't eat many more


- Hammer and Rails caused a gigantic shitstorm today with a post about how the top of the Big East is massively overrated. I have to think most of that post is satirical, as no one could actually believe that Syracuse, Villanova and Georgetown aren't really good teams. I do find it amusing how many completely brain-dead Syracuse fans came out of the woodwork to defend their beloved Orange; a sad day for the Syracuse English department.

- I managed to salvage a winning weekend picking games thanks to getting in my Iowa pick 2 minutes before tip off and continuing my dominance picking Northwestern games. Tomorrow there are two great matchups in the conference, and I'm here to break it all down.

Illinois at Wisconsin (-8.5). 6 PM, BTN

Ugh, I hate this line and would never go anywhere near a wager on it. I know I just got done declaring Wisconsin on their way to the Big Ten title, and I fully expect them to win here, but 8.5 is about 3 more than I'd like to give. Still, this is a classic letdown game for Illinois, and the Badgers should be well rested after cruising past Michigan on Saturday.

Pick: Wisconsin

Purdue at Michigan State (-2.5), 8 PM, ESPN

Despite the uncertainty involving Kalin Lucas's ankle, I'm taking Michigan State here since they are always so tough at home and I barely have to give any points. I don't see Purdue winning here unless Michigan State turns the ball over like crazy, as the Spartans should have a big edge in rebounding and the Boiler bench is still suspect.

Pick: Michigan State

Season Records

Overall: 33-24-2
Northwestern games: 13-2