Northwestern Basketball Getting Badly Needed Venue Upgrade


Northwestern basketball announced today that they’re fixing the biggest problem that they have as a program. NU plays in Welsh-Ryan Arena, a 8,117 capacity facility erected in 1961, but feels like 1861 in certain facets, especially when juxtaposed against the likes of Big Ten’s bigger and better venues.

Two years ago, Northwestern basketball unveiled a new video board, the first ever for W-R, and the only major upgrade the facility has seen since 1983. Now, they’re going all in, with a facelift that will cost $110 million and modernize the facility. This is a huge, HUGE day for NU basketball, as they take a giant step towards becoming a legitimate Big Ten program.

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Northwestern, Illini Basketball United Center Double Header Announced


Illini basketball have made a response to the dreadful attendance that we saw at last year’s United Center game versus UIC. The contest had an announced attendance of about 5,000 but the actual amount of fans attending was much lower than that. It’s fitting too given the severe decline of the Illini basketball program that has set in under John Groce, and the dismal state of the opposing program- UIC.

This year, Illinois will take on BYU at the House that Michael Built, as part of a double header with their rival Northwestern, who will face Dayton. The date has been set for December 17th.

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Early 2016-17 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings


Looking at the very early Big Ten basketball power rankings for next year, MSU is the unquestioned. David Kmiecik, via his top 25 for next season, which you can view here, collaborated with Paul M. Banks on this listing. Dave did the entries for the nationally ranked Big Ten basketball teams, and Banks had to do the teams that aren’t as good. (of course! always!)

Enjoy! We also linked the three early season previews that we already did for three Big Ten basketball teams.

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Holy Cross, Bill Carmody Trend Nationally on Twitter

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Where were you the night Holy Cross “broke the internet?” Yes, Holy Cross, led by former Northwestern Coach Bill Carmody, were a top six or seven trending term on Twitter nationally tonight. Indeed March has arrived, and the madness has indeed begun. Sure, it was just a low-scoring play-in game, but when you look at where Holy Cross has come from, to where they are now, it is a Cinderella story.

If there’s one thing America loves this time of year, it’s a good Cinderella story, and Holy Cross has stepped to become the first school to fulfill that role.

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Northwestern Basketball: Early 2016-17 Season Preview


It’s official, the 2015-16 Northwestern basketball season is now over. Of course, you pretty much knew that once you heard the seniors, Alex Olah and Tre Demps, speak postgame in the Big Ten Tournament. They both gave enough verbal cures that, once you read in between the lines, it became clear this team wasn’t going to accept a CBI or Vegas 16 bid.

Especially so for Demps, who candidly aired all his grievances and discontent in the locker room in Indianapolis.

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NCAA Bound Bill Carmody Left Lasting Influence at Northwestern

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Yesterday, Northwestern was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament, thus ending any NCAA Tournament hopes that they might have had. Just hours before that result completed their previous coach, Bill Carmody, clinched a tourney berth in his very first season at his new school, Holy Cross.

Obviously, Carmody was on the program’s mind as current coach Chris Collins mentioned him during his postgame press conference.

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Northwestern G Tre Demps Candidly Airs Grievances


Northwestern lost their opening Big Ten Tournament game 72-70 (OT) to Michigan in extremely controversial and utterly heart-breaking fashion. The loss ends NU’s NCAA Tournament hopes this season and thus continues their historical drought of never having reached the big dance. This loss occurred just hours after the program’s previous coach, Bill Carmody, clinched a tourney berth in his very first season at his new school, Holy Cross.

Factor in a horribly blown call that had an influence on today’s result, and it’s an extremely emotional day for the Northwestern basketball program; especially the seniors.

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Northwestern Basketball: Marginal Progress this Season


The numbers defining the 2015-16 Northwestern basketball season are an interesting dichotomy. You see 20-11 and you think “good.” Then you see the 8-10 league record, in a tough Big Ten, and your thoughts are “okay, alright, not too bad.” Typical NIT team, that’s cool.

When you take a closer look though, and you see an RPI of 106, a SoS of 132 and just one RPI top 80 win, you think “meh.”

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Northwestern Basketball: School Wins Record Very Obtainable


Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins is metaphorically playing Black jack right now; reaching 21 equals success. That’s because Northwestern can break the school record for single season wins if they get four more to reach 21.

NU got their 17th triumph last night in Evanston, 58-56 over their hated in-state rival Illinois. The game was brutal to watch up until about the under 12 media time out or thereabouts, but was rather entertaining in the final minutes.

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Is Illini basketball that much worse than Northwestern?

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Ever since the great Lindsey Willhite left the journalism game to become PR Director of the Chicago Wolves, I’ve been the only individual who covers Northwestern and Illini basketball regularly. That’s obviously not a very glamorous position to be in, and it’s not exactly the most exciting thing in my life either. (It wouldn’t be the most exciting in any human being’s life for that matter)

However, it does make me qualified to size up the match-up coming Saturday night; the team’s only scheduled meeting this season.

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Jim Nantz has a mind blowing Super Bowl 50 factoid


Hello friends.

Jim Nantz, who will call the big game Sunday, offered this MVP race insight:

“As the game gets broken down a million different ways, and every possible conceivable story angle has been written before the kickoff, I want to be the first to say that if Star Lotulelei ends up the MVP, then the Super Bowl will have officially come full circle in 50 years. From (Super Bowl I MVP) Bart Starr to Star Lotulelei.”

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Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald on national de-committing epidemic


The only real hard news to emerge from today’s Pat Fitzgerald National Signing Day press conference was confirmation that that the entire coaching staff will be retained for 2016. We all suspected as such, but Fitzgerald told the media assembled at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse that indeed everyone will be back.

Yes, even Offensive Coordinator Mick McCall, who’s job is…well, you know that McCall shouldn’t keep his job. You knew he shouldn’t keep his job last year, you knew….let’s just move on.

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