Northwestern (1-0) cruised to wins in its first two games of the season, against Illinois-Springfield (an exhibition) and Mississippi Valley State. The Wildcats crushed the Delta Devils 94-63 on Friday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena and will be looking for an equally easy victory on Monday, as the Eastern Washington Eagles (1-0) come to Evanston.
The program that produced current NBAer Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington beat Division III Linfield College 70-47 in the Eagles’ official season opener on Friday. Led by coach Jim Hayford, Eastern Washington went 18-16 last season and made it to the quarterfinals of the CBI, falling to Nevada.
The Eagles actually made the NCAA Tournament in 2015, the same season in which they shocked the Indiana Hoosiers with a 88-86 upset at Assembly Hall. But only two players remain from that game, and Eastern Washington is a very young team with only three seniors.
Chris Collins’ team is, rightfully so, heavy favorites in this game, so the key for the Wildcats will be to keep the pressure on the Eagles for the entire game. The good news is EWU was 335th nationally in adjusted defense last season, per KenPom, so it won’t be too hard for Northwestern to get good looks on offense.
Follow along online with our GameThread, which will go live as we approach tip-off.
Game time: 8 p.m. CT
Mobile: BTN2Go app
Radio: WGN 720 AM, 89.3 FM WNUR
Betting line: Northwestern -17