clickbait hard hitting analysis of NU’s non-conference slate continues, this time focusing on Northwestern basketball.
Last season non-conference play was objectively sucky. Sure Northwestern got Butler on the road and Northern Iowa in Mexico, but those were the only games that even had vague overtones of being meaningful.
North Florida? Snooze. Directional Michigans parts one and two? Boring. The big B1G/ACC Challenge opponent, Georgia Tech? Immensely unexciting. Next year already promises to be more exciting, with the Wildcats entered in the same preseason tournament as North Carolina, but let’s shoot a little higher.
I certainly hope last year was the last meeting with Mississippi Valley State.
Here are the top-five teams I want Northwestern basketball to schedule:
1) William & Mary
Everyone knows that Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament, but did you know that there are other teams who have been around a long time who have also not made the tournament? The most notable of these teams is the William & Mary Tribe out of the Colonial Athletic Association. Last year, the Tribe came really close to making the Big Dance and came up just short. Wildcat and William and Mary fans should be friends. Let’s all get together and drink to our past sorrows and bright futures.
2) Notre Dame
The last time Notre Dame and Northwestern played in basketball, Northwestern beat Luke Harangody and the rest of the Fighting Irish at the UIC Pavillion. Northwestern went on to lose in the first round of the NIT. Northwestern is kicking Notre Dame’s behind in everything from head-to-head football games to getting NFL players drafted, so why not extend the domination to the basketball court? Plus there's the Duke coaching tree angle with former Duke assistant Mike Brey leading the Irish.
Tommy Amaker vs. Chris Collins? A year after fighting it out for Aaron Falzon’s commitment? Two nerd schools going at it? Harvard kids versus kids who wish they were Harvard kids? Sign me right up. Harvard, against all odds, is actually a pretty darn respectable college basketball program. I’d like to see a couple of Coach K disciples go at it, just like Notre Dame. Amaker didn’t have the best of times in the Big Ten during his tenure at Michigan. Chris Collins hasn’t been lighting it up just yet, but I’m sure both coaches would want to one-up each other. Plus the student section heckling would be delightful.
Steve Wojciechowski is looking like Chris Collins 2.0 up at Marquette. Heir apparent at Duke, heads to get a head coaching job and starts raking in recruits. The difference is that Chris Collins is pulling top 100 guys and Wojciechowski is pulling a top 10 guy in Henry Ellenson. Marquette’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked 12th nationally by 247Sports and is headed by Ellenson, the 9th ranked recruit in the nation. Marquette, according to who you talk to, also beat NU to the commitment of three-star wing Sacar Anim. Not only would this be a fun game to watch, it would be a good boost to NU’s strength of schedule, something they need to do if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky didn’t even have the best recruiting class in the country so how good can they really be? Not only is Chris Collins a better coach than John Calipari, but NU is also more talented. I’d love to watch the good Wildcats beat up on the bad Wildcats for 40 minutes. Bring it on, Kentucky.
I won’t stop until my mentions on twitter are full of angry Big Blue Nation fans.