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Northwestern vs. Iowa basketball preview

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Northwestern takes on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a game that - like their blowout win over Penn State - could be a real indicator of whether we should pay attention to them.

USA TODAY Sports

Football? What in balls' name is football? Everybody on the planet should be watching Northwestern-Iowa basketball, and I will be one of those everybodies.

This game - like the last one! - is kinda big, since Northwestern can actually win it and sorta needs to if they want to seem like a real basketball team. So let's talk about it!

Are they good?: Yeah, oddly. I'm really not sure how Iowa turned into a good team in between last year and this one: the newbies are Mike "Gemeinschaft" Gesell, a ginger-ish guy, and Anthony Clemmons, a really, really solid point guard, and so far as I can tell, neither guy is worth writing home about. That said, Roy Devyn Marble - you know, TWO NAMEZ - has made some leaps. I would've said dude is their entire offense, but the team almost won a game without him against Michigan State, only losing due to a big ol' choke job. Marble should be back today.

What are they good at?: Iowa hangs its hat on solid defense. I've watched a few games, and I haven't seen anybody outmatched in a man-to-man yet.

What are they bad at?: Shooting. It's weird, since this team is pretty solid across the board, but Marble's the only player with a lick of shooting ability.

Can NU win?: Kenpom has this game as a one-pointer, so let's just hang ourselves now and make our family think we died of autoerotic asphyxiation to save the pain of having to watch this game. Once again, this game is B1G big: A win shows Northwestern is an actual basketball team, a loss doesn't kill the pipe dream of dancing, but is a pretty good indicator this team is boned sans Drew. They won't shoot as badly as Penn State did - they might shoot almost as badly - but a performance like the one NU had at the Bryce Jordan Center could get them a win. It's possible, even with allt he stuff.