Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola and UIC all in action tonight

Tonight is another busy night on the college basketball schedule as teams try to squeeze in one more game before Christmas. Four teams are in action and it's even split with two home games and two road contests.

Northwestern is staying in the friendly confines of Welsh-Ryan Arena for one more game, this time against Central Connecticut State, before heading off to Illinois to start Big Ten play. In an odd bit of scheduling DePaul is traveling to Florida Gulf Coast as Mac Koshwal will try to get back in rhythm before the Big East opener against Pittsburgh. Loyola welcomes Albany to the Gentile Center before taking almost a week off and UIC heads to Akron for a tough game against the Zips.

Preview boxes for each of the games after the break.
Central Connecticut State vs. Northwestern:
Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena
When: 7 p.m.
Accuscore: 82-48 Northwestern
Pomeroy: 71-50 Northwestern
Summary: The Wildcats look to improve to 10-1 on the season when they take on the other Blue Devils of NCAA Division I on Tuesday night. Don't confuse Central Connecticut State (3-5) with Duke, because its not close. The Blue Devils can't shoot, can't rebound (really can't rebound) and should be a team that Northwestern handles easily. Expect this game to resemble the North Florida game or thereabouts. Interestingly enough, CCSU's last game was against Loyola's opponent Albany. The Blue Devils won 70-68 in overtime.

Albany vs. Loyola:
Where: Gentile Center
When: 7 p.m.
Accuscore: 63.6-62.2 Albany
Pomeroy: 71-60 Loyola
Summary: In a game that appears to want to defy expectations Loyola and Albany will match-up at the Gentile Center tonight. The Ramblers are led by heavy bench scoring which seems to bother Accuscore's predictions. The deep rotation, and a little bit of luck, has certainly helped Loyola during an 8-2 start to the season. The Ramblers look to keep the momentum going against Albany (4-8). The Great Danes have a big turnover problem, so Loyola should end up with a lot of extra possessions.

DePaul at Florida Gulf Coast:
Where: Alico Arena
When: 6 p.m.
Accuscore: 71.3-55.6 DePaul
Pomeroy: 67-61 DePaul
Summary: The Blue Demons are happy to have Mac Koshwal returning to the lineup tonight. He'll give freshman forward Anthony Banks fits in the post and that's all you need to stop the Eagles. Of course, DePaul knows something about upsets to teams with patriotic mascots, so the Blue Demons will have to be up for this game. Still, both Pomeroy and Accuscore think that Florida Gulf Coast (3-6) won't be able to hang in for very long. It should be noted though that the Eagles are on a 3-game winning streak after opening the season with six straight losses.

UIC at Akron:
Where: James A. Rhodes Arena
When: 6 p.m.
Accuscore: 67.4-58.7 Akron
Pomeroy: 70-58 Akron
Summary: The Flames face a stiff challenge from a very balanced Zips team that has found a rhythm since starting 0-2. Akron (7-3) has one loss in its past 8 games and that was against Texas A&M. UIC of course is on a two-game winning streak of its own, so this is a match-up of two teams that are starting to peak right before conference play begins. The Flames have had some problems with energy away from the Pavilion, so it will be interesting to see how they respond tonight.

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