Purdue Wins Record 24th Big Ten Title: Video, Audio, Quotes and More

Congratulations to the #11 Purdue men’s basketball team, on their clinching a share of the 2018-19 Big Ten Championship after defeating Northwestern, 70-57, at Welsh-Ryan Arena today. That gives them a record-setting 24th league title, and approximately 1/5 of all the Big Ten regular season conference titles that have been awarded.

Here is video of the final seconds ticking away, and the moment the Boilers officially became champs. Below that, you’ll find video of the trophy exiting the court.

[Read more…]

For Northwestern Basketball Fans, Looking to Next Year Doesn’t Help Much

northwestern basketball

As disappointing as last season was for Northwestern basketball, it was not rock bottom for the program. As awful as this season has gone, it may not be the bedrock either. With NU currently sporting a ten game losing streak and maintaining a very strong chance of finishing dead last un the league, Wildcats fans have been looking beyond this year for quite some time already.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much reason for optimism there, as Northwestern is going to lose an overwhelming majority of its scoring, rebounding, experience and leadership from this year’s squad. Next year will indeed be a hard rebuild, a total reboot.

[Read more…]

LGWS #9 Podcast: 1994-95 Northwestern Basketball Point Shaving Scandal

The 1994-95 Northwestern basketball team went 5-22, and yes, they were just as bad as their record indicates. That’s not why we’re talking about them today though, a quarter-century later. Two of their players ended up doing prison time for fraud after their point shaving activities were uncovered.

Yes, two members of that Northwestern Wildcats team were purposefully trying to lose by even more, in an effort to make money by helping NU lose by more points than the gambling spread in three Big Ten games that season. Let’s Get Weird, Sports episode 9 is a short podcast, we filled it out with an extra Northwestern story towards the end that you’ll want to hear.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Currently in Last Place; Chris Collins Having His Worst Season Ever

chris collins

Chris Collins is now into the final stretch of what has truly become his worst season ever in charge at Northwestern. His Wildcats, currently 14th out of 14 in the Big Ten conference, face a very real danger of finishing dead last in the league.

At this point, somehow finding a way to get up to 10th place, and thus being able to avoid having to play on the first night of the Big Ten Tournament, would be considered a major victory. Collins has won at least six games and finished 10th or higher in league play in all five of his previous seasons on the job. Northwestern, currently on an eight game losing streak will need to win three of their last four in order to reach six league wins this season.

[Read more…]

Despite Awful Season and Recruiting Misses, Chris Collins Seat at Northwestern Very Cool

chris collins

The “program momentum,” if you believe such things actually exist in college basketball, is long gone now at Northwestern. Yes, they made their first ever NCAA Tournament two years ago, and achieved the school’s first ever tournament win to boot, but that might as well be ancient history today. 

Today’s mood is the polar opposite of 2017 March Madness as Chris Collins now faces a very real danger of finishing dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in his career. Barring a miracle turnaround down the stretch, NU will be forced to play on the first night of the Big Ten tournament and an under. 500 overall record for fourth time in Collins’ six seasons seems very likely. In three of his five seasons at the helm, the Cats have finished 10th in the league.

[Read more…]

Northwestern Wildcats Basketball Season Resume/Postseason Profile

northwestern basketball

While there are still 14 games left in the season, the clock is very much ticking loudly for the Northwestern Wildcats. Right now, they’re projected to be in the dreaded Wednesday slate/opening day of the Big Ten Tournament and you know what that means- you have to win the whole conference tourney in order to get into The Big Dance.

[Read more…]

2019 Northwestern Football Very Early Season Preview

2018 was a banner, yet still very strange season for Northwestern football. It saw the first winless non-conference regular season since 1992, Gary Barnett’s very first season in Evanston. However, it also included a very nice bowl win over the Pac 12 runner-up/winner of the league’s south division.

It was an autumn that brought Pat Fitzgerald’s worst loss (Akron) since his very first home game in charge (New Hampshire, 2006) and his first Big Ten Coach of the Year award, on strength of a 8-1 league record. At various points during the season, Fitzgerald brought attention to his non-believers and detractors. At times, he mentioned the odds-makers, bloggers, Clayton Thorson critics and media who he felt didn’t give the offensive line as much positive publicity as he felt they deserved.

[Read more…]

Pat Fitzgerald Emphatically Shoots Down Green Bay Packers Rumors

pat fitzgerald

So much for the Pat Fitzgerald to the Green Bay Packers rumors. In celebrating a record setting come-from-behind Holiday Bowl victory over the #17 Utah Utes, the Northwestern head coach made an emphatic statement.

It was reported by multiple outlets on Sunday that Packers CEO Mark Murphy, who elevated Fitzgerald to head coach in 2006 when he was NU athletic director, was interested in interviewing Fitzgerald for the open Packers head coaching position.

[Read more…]

Green Bay Packers Want to Interview Pat Fitzgerald for Open Coaching Position

pat fitzgerald

According to multiple reports, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is on the list of candidates to potentially fill the Green Bay Packers head coaching vacancy. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the ball is in Fitzgerald’s court right now too. The Packers have contacted Fitz about scheduling an interview, but the NU mentor is currently focused on preparing his team to take on #17 Utah in the Holiday Bowl tomorrow (full game preview and prediction at this link).

We won’t know until after the bowl game whether or not Fitz will hear their Packers out on their offer, but he “has shut down countless interview requests from the NFL in the past,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

[Read more…]

Holiday Bowl Preview, Prediction: #22 Northwestern Wildcats vs #17 Utah Utes

Since 2014, the Holiday Bowl has featured a matchup of Pac-12 and Big Ten teams, making it a sort of junior varsity version of the Rose Bowl. It’s kind of like how San Diego is the j.v. version of Los Angeles in some ways. That’s not meant to be a slam, San Diego is an awesome city.

The 2018 edition of the Holiday Bowl features a match-up of the teams that lost the Big 10 (#22 Northwestern Wildcats) and Pac 12 (#17 Utah Utes) championship games. The winners of those two conference title games, Ohio State and Washington, will meet in the Rose Bowl the next day. So really, this year more than ever, the Holiday Bowl is a quasi-opening act for the Granddaddy of them all.

[Read more…]

Oklahoma Sooners Provide Most Compelling Northwestern Non-Conf Home Game in Quite Some Time

lon kruger oklahoma

Aside from the very narrow loss to #4 Michigan, the new Welsh-Ryan Arena hasn’t really yet experienced a true rocking atmosphere. While it was indeed electric inside the new barn that evening, the crowd was half (or more) Michigan Wolverines supporters. Friday night brings the Oklahoma Sooners, the first team out of the AP poll and the second out of the coaches polls this week to Evanston.

The back half of a home and home series with OU, this is pretty much the most exciting non-conference home game that Northwestern has seen since…since…well, quite a long time. It can be tough to get a good quality pre-conference opponent to come to your gym, because no one really wants to do home and homes.

[Read more…]

Michigan, Michigan State at Top of Early Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings

michigan wolverines

Early December polls and rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but we do know this about the Big Ten- “the Michigans” currently rule the roost. College hoops is a sport as synonymous with gambling as any you will find anywhere in the entire world. Wagering on college basketball at this time of year can be like real money online pokies, there is a ton of luck and chance involved. However, if you want a blue chip then #GoBlue, as the Michigan Wolverines have consistently shown a capability to beat the spread by by a comfortable margin.

They are the clear number one in the Big Ten with arch-rival Michigan State a solid #2 in the league. Next to each team name below you’ll find the following numerical values: overall record, conference record, AP ranking (when applicable) Sagarin rating and kenpom rating.

[Read more…]