Sure, the Super Bowl is tonight, but before that Northwestern is taking on Indiana in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are down this season, but they've still managed to Minnesota, Michigan and Pittsburgh this season. They're a dangerous team if you give them life.
If you want to see all of my thoughts you can check out this Twitter stream. But here are some general themes from the first half, which the Wildcats won 40-29.
- Northwestern is 8-11 from the free throw line, but those 3 misses feel big. John Shurna
missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 opportunity. Also, the Wildcats
could've easily attempted a bunch more free throws if they had
continued to be aggressive throughout the half. They were in the bonus
with just under 11 minutes remaining in the half.
- Indiana looked positively awful during the first 12 minutes or so
of the first half. Northwestern could've blown the Hoosiers out of the
game, but they allowed them to stick around. Indiana managed to get it
under 10 points with 33 seconds remaining in the half, but the Wildcats
got a big dunk from Mike Capocci at the end of the first half to keep the mental edge of 11 points.
- Speaking of Capocci. He gave Northwestern 2 good minutes of the
bench at the of the first half. He matches up well with a short, but
athletic, Indiana team. Capocci, Jeremy Nash and Drew Crawford are the keys in the second half.
- Luka Mirkovic has dominated Indiana in the post, Kyle Rowley
has been a big disappointment. Unless a team has a big,
back-to-the-basket center Rowley shouldn't be playing. He's not
athletic enough. I'd like to see Davide Curletti in that situation. Mirkovic leads Northwestern with 9 points.
- Verdell Jones III is really good. He's got 14 of Indiana's 29 points. On the other hand, Christian Watford, 9 points, just annoys me for some reason.
- In terms of the broader picture - Northwestern swept Indiana last
season including their first win in Bloomington in over 40 years. Can
the Wildcats sweep the Hoosiers again? They're going to have to in
order to keep the NCAA Tournament hopes alive. The game that worries me even more? February 28th at Penn State.