Northwestern Basketball: Very Early 2017-18 Season Preview

all state arena

Next season Northwestern basketball is exactly like Jay-Z rapped in “Do you Believe (Hova Interlude)”:

“When you’re expected to win, they ain’t surprised no more.”

A 24 win team returns everybody who matters except Nate Taphorn and Sanjay Lumpkin next season. On paper, they will only get better, and should in fact be substantially better. They also get back Aaron Falzon and Rapolas Ivanauskas, two guys with high potential who had to sit out with injuries. Incoming freshman guard Anthony Gaines will be a nice piece as well.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Basketball Should Have Been an Underdog Story; Result was Polar Opposite


It’s amazing how rapidly the story of Northwestern basketball in the NCAA Tournament went from underdog to oversaturated to OVERKILL to deserved backlash. That’s a shame because there are so many true blue Northwestern basketball fans out there who truly embodied the idea of “act like you’ve been there before,” even though their program had not.

Then there is the team itself, which although not elite, very solid and battled a great Gonzaga team to the very end despite getting egregiously hosed on a major momentum shifting basket interference call. This Northwestern basketball team plays a fairly entertaining brand of basketball too.

They’re not exactly the showtime era L.A. Lakers, but they’re also nothing like the aesthetic atrocities you see at Virginia, or on the Wisconsin teams that were coached by the father (Dick Bennett) of UVA’s current leader Tony Bennett.

[Read more…]

Six Candidates to Eventually Succeed Coach K at Duke


Coach K is the teflon don of college basketball; the kingpin of March Madness. He’s been at Duke for close to four decades, and in that time he’s seen many, if not most of his peers deal with scandalous situations, of varying degree.

With Mike Krzyzewski though, it’s been pretty much all squeaky clean.

He’s achieved five national championships and 12 Final Fours, and it’s highly unlikely that any of them will ever get vacated. He’s the first face on this generation’s college basketball coaching Mt. Rushmore, and he’s the media darling of all media darlings.

No one has utilized the media coverage, (and Team USA basketball too) to leverage a massive competitive advantage like he has.

[Read more…]

FULL LIST: NCAA Tournament First Round Tip Times, Announcers, Channel Assignments

mackey arena purdue

Full listing of channel assignments, tip off times and announcer pairings for the entire first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Enjoy!

[Read more…]

2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (Bracket Projection)

final four logo

Here is The Sports Bank’s 2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology.  Check back for bi-weekly updates on our bracketology, which has been more accurate than Joe Lunardi’s entry.

Enjoy! If you have issues with something here, let it out in the comments section below.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Basketball Will Be Analogized to Both Duke and the Cubs a lot this Month


As we enter the B1G Tournament, Northwestern basketball will be looking to solidify their position in the NCAA Tournament, and improve their seeding by winning as many games as they can in Washington D.C.

Off-the-court, the local and national media will be producing lots of content surrounding what Jim Nantz deemed “the story of the year in college basketball.”

That story of course is Northwestern basketball making their first NCAA Tournament in the entire history of their program; ending a 78 year drought.

[Read more…]

#16 Purdue Basketball at Northwestern Game Preview, Prediction

isaac haas

The Purdue basketball team clinched the 2016-17 outright Big Ten Championship last night after Iowa upset Wisconsin in a hideously ugly contest at the Kohl Center. The Badgers are indeed in free fall almost as badly as Indiana right now. The Boilermakers also secured the #1 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament with their win over their in-state rival.

Purdue has now won a conference-record 23 Big Ten Championships. Here’s a link to more of the details, facts and figures, news and notes on that. And at this link you can see some of the Purdue basketball sights, sounds, videos and photos from the B1G title celebration on the floor of Mackey Arena.

It remains to be seen how motivated the Boilers will be for their visit to Northwestern and how Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter manages minutes of his starters for this one.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Basketball Making their First NCAAs: a Fair and Balanced, Centrist View


Northwestern basketball is almost certainly making their first NCAA Tournament in the entire history of the program this season; and 99.999% of the media coverage will take/has already taken the same exact tone.

It’s the feel good, underdog, Cinderella story angle.

The 0.001% is the hater angle, and it belongs to Will Leitch of Sports on Earth, who wrote a piece that we will cover in detail in just a bit. Personally, I just don’t have very strong feelings either way. I guess I’m more of a moderate, a centrist perhaps.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Basketball Could Seriously Win 25+ This Season

chris collins northwestern

Heading into this season, the average Northwestern basketball fan likely looked at the 2016-17 campaign like a game of blackjack- hit 21 and you’re a winner. After all, last season saw the Wildcats win 20 in the regular season for the very first time in school history.

NU unfortunately fell to Michigan in the B1G Tournament (the famous Tre Demps postgame “they want the rich to get richer” rant), and thus the school record for single season wins remains 20. Like a college kid with a terribly unbelievable fake ID, they can’t wait to reach 21.

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball Achieve Huge Upset; Damage Northwestern NCAA Tournament Hopes


There was much less burnt orange and navy blue than in years past at the annual Illini basketball trip to Northwestern‘s Welsh-Ryan Arena. However, the crowd was still approximately about 40-45% in favor of Illinois and they got exactly what they came for as the Illini, seven point underdogs, came up to Evanston and put together the most complete effort of the season.

The reward for that effort? Their biggest win of the season, over what has now become their primary rival.

[Read more…]

Northwestern So Much Better than Illini Basketball Right Now It’s Unnatural

chris collins northwestern

As Northwestern and Illini basketball prepare to tangle tomorrow night, you have two programs headed in polar opposite directions. Momentum could obviously change next season, but at this point, the inertia is so strong in both directions that it’s at the program, not just the team level.

Since the start of the 2015-16 season, NU is 38-17 (.690 winning percentage) overall, 15-13 (.536) in B1G play while Illinois is 28-30 (.483), and 12-16 (.429) in the league. The program that’s never made the NCAA Tournament (you might have heard that fact/stat once of twice or one zillion times already this season) or even the B1G Tournament semi-finals has been kicking some ass here and there and taking a few names.

[Read more…]

#SavageCats17 #NUView18 Northwestern Football Recruiting Notes, Quotes

pat fitzgerald

The latest Northwestern football recruiting class has a nickname #SavageCats17 and #NUView18 is on deck for 2018. Said Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald at his National Signing Day press conference was asked about it:

“It’s all about the hashtag” and praised the recruiting office for their “analytics and what ever other things I can say here that would be sexy.”

[Read more…]