Northwestern vs. Indiana - Big Ten Tournament

So it comes down to this. Northwestern has to beat Indiana, and possibly Purdue, to make the NIT. The bubble keeps getting smaller by the day as #1 seeds in automatic bid conferences gobble up the bottom of the NIT field. (Thanks Montana!) If you want to talk about today's game feel free to chime in on the comments. I'll be watching the game on ESPN360 as much as possible and drop some of my own thoughts in too. (The day job has prevented me from going to Indianapolis.)

I leave you with these two notes:

1) I wish this game was on Big Ten Network and had Gus Johnson and Shon Morris.
2) Just win, please.

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Tags: Big Ten, NIT, Northwestern

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  • Michigan and Iowa just finished. Now we've got to wait for warmups to finish and then Northwestern plays Indiana. - Quick notes from the numbers predictors: Accuscore has Northwestern as a 70.7-60.3 favorite (77.4%). Pomeroy is 73-67 (71%). Of course everyone predicted the Wildcats would beat Indiana in Bloomington too. So take these with a grain of salt.

  • The official start time of the game has been pushed back to 3:56 p.m. CT.

  • I will support you and the 'Cats, John!

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Thanks! Let's see how this one goes.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    You watching online or on an old fashioned television?

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    ESPN360 for the first half, good old fashioned television for the second half. At least that's the plan right now.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    The tournament returns to United Center after another season, correct? can;t believe I'm already thinking about 2 years from now.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Northwestern is down 10-5 at the under 16 timeout. On the plus side, Drew Crawford looks to be moving a lot better than he has been. Maybe his hip is feeling better? That would be a big boost for the 'Cats. Still, Northwestern has to play some defense.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    My nice comments about Crawford aside. I think we might see Alex Marcotullio and Mike Capocci a bit today. Because Crawford just seems amped up and going to weird places on offense.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Hey John, thoughts on the 136 over/under for this game on SFTC? I feel like my head will explode if these teams each hit 65 today

  • In reply to Dryan:

    I think what you're seeing there is that Indiana plays faster than your average Big Ten team. Most systems are predicting somewhere around a 66 possession game. Considering how poorly Northwestern has played defense that might be possible. My head will explode if Indiana hits 65. That'll be another poor defensive performance.

  • In reply to Dryan:

    early appearance by marcotullio. let's see if he's able to contribute

  • In reply to firebillcarmody:

    Well that was an excellent start to his play today. I was about to say that Marcotullio and Nash are sort of redundant on defense, but they did a good job there together.

  • In reply to firebillcarmody:

    Lavin has so many great metaphors for the 'Cats defense.

  • In reply to firebillcarmody:

    I can't really stand Steve Lavin - which might explain some of my DePaul coaching posts. What's his deal with making fun of John Shurna's shooting movement? I mean it seems to work great for Shurna.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    I think he says stuff just to get noticed. They all can't be Jay Bilas.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Another reason why Northwestern has to win this game? It's the only way we'll see Kyle Rowley! JaJuan Johnson is the exact reason Rowley is on the roster. He only makes sense against big centers. (And Johnson's really the only one in the conference.)

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    At some point these threes are going to drop. Right? 1-13 is a rough start to say the least. Defense has actually been alright since the first 4 minutes or so.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Indiana is beating Northwestern to every hustle play during the first 20 minutes. The Wildcats are getting beat on the glass and committing fouls by not moving their feet. Luka Mirkovic appears to be one of the main culprits.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    John Shurna! What an awesome tip at the end of the half to give Northwestern some momentum. An awesome tip there. Northwestern down 30-27 at half. Things could've been a lot worse.

    Things I liked: Alex Marcotullio's passing, Davide Curletti's hustle, the top of the 1-3-1

    Things I didn't like: Luka Mirkovic's play, Marcotullio's shooting, the invisible Michael Thompson, the first 4 minutes

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    I have to admit, I fell off the NU basketball train a bit back in January when the losses started stacking up. But I'm leaving work early, putting on my purple and watching the second half.

  • In reply to jdl409:

    Funny, I did the same thing. Just got home. Of course I had to listen to a painful couple of minutes on WGN radio during my commute. Need to make a run soon.

  • In reply to jdl409:

    Lavin talks more about hair than Kornheiser. 'Cats are in a bit of a slump...

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Who would've thought that Alex Marcotullio would be only guy on Northwestern that could buy a shot?

    Also, can anyone explain to me how Michael Thompson disappeared on offense during the second half of conference play?

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Lavin pretty much just said that Northwestern has no expectations in basketball success when referring to the longest tenured coaches and why there are not more.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    For some reason that graphic was particularly infuriating today. I think it's because the other three guys are three of the best coaches in the nation let alone the Big Ten.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    We may be down by only 4, but this game is becoming out of control (not in a good way).

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    There was a good 2.5 minute period when Northwestern could've folded. But they finally realized they needed to go into the paint and score. Took long enough...

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    I wish we had more senior leadership for games like these. Next season I think this is where we will separate ourselves from the bottom feeders of the conference.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Next season there are going to be so many seniors on the court it'll be incredible. Between Michael Thompson, Kevin Coble and even Mike Capocci should give the team some quality minutes.

    This is also why I think Northwestern should definitely accept a CBI bid if it has to in order to play in the postseason. The Wildcats need the experience.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    I agree that the more games these guys play together the better. Chemistry and playing in another tournament this year will be great for next March. They are looking strong these past 3 minutes though...

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    The balance has finally come. As Thompson (10 points in the 2nd half) and Marcotullio stepped up it took Indiana's attention away from Shurna. Now Shurna's been able to get back into the act on offense and seems unburdened.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    I don't even feel like acknowledging Steve Lavin's comments about Doc Rivers, eligibility and the GI Bill. I know he was kidding, but that might've been the most wrong statement I've ever heard an announcer say.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Speaking of the ESPN broadcast. Who else thinks its hilarious that while watching a Northwestern game that the ESPNChicago logo featured Notre Dame and Illinois? That says it all about the Chicago market.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Nice win. 20 is cool. Let's do it again tomorrow!

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Luka Mirkovic just fouled out of the game. Wow. There is 10:43 remaining. He just never seemed to get into a rhythm. Next season he'll have to work on being less emotional when he's on the court. It kills him in road/neutral games.

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    And Northwestern has tied it up again! 45 all after the Wildcats finally realize that today just isn't their day from beyond the arc. Great defense too is helping get some easy baskets. Good job by Marcotullio and Nash at the top.

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    Thompson probably just told Jobe, "I grew up south of Fullerton, you don't want a piece of me."

  • In reply to johntemplon:

    To which Jobe replied, "I played in Olney, home of the white squirrel."

  • In reply to BupsJones:

    Whatever they both said, it wasn't the best thing ever. I'm terrified of Thompson picking up his 4th foul before the under 8 and Northwestern going on a prolonged offensive drought without him on the court. Not that things are that good with him.

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