Northwestern is in West Lafayette, Ind. tonight for the toughest test remaining on its regular season schedule. The Wildcats will take on Purdue at 6 p.m. CT, and they'll be in search of that elusive quality win that would legitimize their push for the NIT.
Ever since Northwestern sauntered through its 346th-ranked nonconference schedule unscathed, the Wildcats have been in desperate need of that signature win. They missed their lone nonconference chance against North Carolina. They've proceeded to go 0-5 against what for much of the season was the conference's top six.
One of those five defeats was a narrow one. Northwestern took Maryland to overtime on the road, and very nearly pulled out the victory in regulation. Others have been embarrassing though. The Wildcats were run out of arenas by Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa in back-to-back-to-back January games.
What will Tuesday night bring? Will it bring another blowout? With Purdue's imposing front line, it certainly could. Or will this be the performance we've been waiting for? Could Northwestern hang with the Boilermakers, who are 12-point favorites? The question would then become, can the Wildcats close?
As we collectively find out the answers to those questions tonight, join us in our discussion of the game below.