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Sunday Random Thoughts and Picks

- There has been some discussion recently about this potentially being the best season in Northwestern basketball history. Now I'm not much of an NU historian, but there's no way that's true right now because last year's team had a better regular season than this year's team. Yes, they were 19-12 this year as opposed to 17-12, but the two extra wins are a direct consequence of playing 2 extra non-conference games. Last year the Big Ten was much tougher, and Northwestern managed to get 8 conference wins as opposed to this year's 7, and finished the regular season with an RPI of 71 compared to this year's 116. Of course with a couple of wins in the Big Ten tournament and/or some wins in whichever tournament they end up in, that could change, but for now, no way is this the best Northwestern team ever. Compared to other Bill Carmody squads, this year's edition reminds me of the 2001-02 team that started the season 16-9 before losing their last 3 conference games to finish in 7th place at 7-9. That team was then embarrassed by a bad Michigan team in the Big Ten tournament and was passed over by the NIT selection committee; hopefully history doesn't repeat itself.

- 0-2 picking yesterday, no excuses. Gonna need a perfect day to finish the regular season above .500

Wisconsin at Illinois (+2.5), 1 PM central, ESPN

No strong feelings either way here, but when in doubt, take the more desperate team playing at home.

Pick: Illinois

Michigan at Michigan State (-10), 3 PM central, CBS

The Spartans are playing for a share of the Big Ten title, while the Wolverines are playing for pride, and they haven't shown much pride at times this season. Michigan State blows this one open late.

Pick: Michigan State

Iowa at Minnesota (-13.5), 5 PM central, BTN

The Gophers totally dominated the first meeting, leading by as many as 30 before calling off the dogs. I don't think anything changes at the Barn.

Pick: Minnesota

Overall Record: 42-44-2
Northwestern games: 15-6