So the basketball schedule is finally out, and its almost exactly like last year's: the strength of schedule is somewhat pitiful.
Last year, Northwestern played no true non-conference road games besides the Big Ten/ACC Challenge NC State game they played no part in scheduling. This year, they play two, against Northern Illinois and Texas Pan-American, neither of whom boast fearful home court advantages or much of an RPI boost to speak of.
Last year, Northwestern played four major conference teams in their non-conference schedule: Iowa State, Notre Dame, NC State and Stanford. This year, they play one, Georgia Tech, with a chance to play St. John's in the second round of the tournament NU is playing in Madison Square Garden, aka the Mecca of Basketball. The only other program that I, a devoted basketball program, am familiar with, is Creighton, who have been pretty consistently good as of late.
So for the second straight year, if NU wants to make the tournament, it will have to be on the strength of their conference play, because their RPI will not help them out even if they sweep their non-conference schedule. (Which is plausible.) I was hoping they'd beef up the schedule - you can't win big games against big opponents if you don't have any - but I guess this is happening again.
Either way, a 20-win season is once again plausible. The team will be good enough to make the NCAA tournament , even if the schedule isn't, so get excited.
Say stuff bout it if you got stuff to say - Loretta's probably on his way with a post.