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.

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Northwestern basketball in the NIT? Maybe Not


For the last four years, the performance of Northwestern basketball has made the media toy with the idea of the Wildcats making the NCAA Tournament. There will be no media speculation this year. An unbelievable rash of injuries have made them a shell of a team they once were, but they can still make the NIT with some signature wins. Their only shot at a tourney bid would be a miracle run through the Big Ten Tournament, where they will likely be seeded 9th-11th out of 12 teams. Chances are made even more poor when considering they’ve never even made it past the quarterfinals in the tourney’s 14 year history.

And if you saw how they looked versus the Badgers or Illini, you wonder if there’s any offensive left in this team at all.

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Louisville’s Jared Swopshire transfers to Northwestern


Things are looking brighter for Bill Carmody in Evanston. Not only will he have one of his best recruiting classes ever coming in, with actual legitimate big men for the first time in a long time, but he also has immediate veteran help on the way to Northwestern.

That would be Louisville Cardinals forward Jared Swopshire, who was a contributor for the Big East power before getting injured and falling lower in Rick Pitino‘s rotation.

According to Scout.com (Purple Wildcats)

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Northwestern still needs three wins to make NCAA Tournament


In our latest NCAA Tournament bracket projection, we have Northwestern as a #12 seed, one of the last four teams in. Of course, this isn’t a place you want to stay right now as Selection Sunday approaches.

Even though this is a supposedly “weak bubble,” bracket projections don’t and can’t factor in the “bid-stealing” that will occur next week when small conference favorites lose in their in their league tournaments. How many of these “one-bid league” upsets will we have? Who knows, but you need to get above that last #12 seed line to be safe, and the ‘Cats need to beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City and then pick up two more wins in Indy.

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Battle of NUs: Northwestern outshoots Nebraska


In what essentially turned into a three-point shooting contest, Northwestern was able to beat Nebraska in the battle from beyond the arc, taking down the Huskers 84-74.

The Wildcats shot 45.2 percent from three (14-31) and 12 of their first 13 shots came from beyond the arc. The Huskers relied on the three as well, hitting on 11 of 26 shots for 42.3 percent on the night.

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Northwestern’s Surprisingly Good RPI, Tournament Profile


RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) is an algorithm based on opponents’ winning percentage, opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage, and opponents’ opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage. This is the truth, I’m not trying to sound like Dr. Seuss here. So RPI is like the BCS, a very controversial number that certains groups of people ascribe meaning to; other groups of people resent.

That fact is, RPI is taken very seriously by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, and from a numerical standpoint, it’s all about “who have you played?” Then there’s the eye-test with RPI, which asks “who have you beaten?”

And these numbers are what gives the Northwestern Wildcats a stronger than you think tourney profile. A 12-5, 2-3 in conference team with two 28+ point losses doesn’t seem like a good candidate to go dancing at first glance. But when you look at their #30 RPI and strength of schedule, the picture completely changes.

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#6 Michigan State Sees Win Streak End at Northwestern!

Tom Izzo

Was this a huge upset? On one level, yes. Any time the most prominent college basketball program in the Big Ten falls to the program with the least amount of tradition in the conference, it’s huge!

Not to mention it ended the biggest win streak that prominent

On the other hand, Northwestern came in with a RPI of 28 while Michigan State’s number is 6, so it’s not that big of a spread.

Also, last year’s meetings were an OT defeat in East Lansing and a one possession final score in Evanston.

However, when Northwestern defeated Michigan State 81-74, this one seemed to look like a “season definer.”

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New Northwestern Basketball Court Revealed; All Purple Design Not Chosen

Northwestern college basketball unveiled its new design for the playing court at Welsh-Ryan Arena to be incorporated for the upcoming 2011-12 school year. The interior of the three-point arcs are purple with the exception of the lanes which are the traditional wood color. The brand new Big Ten Conference logo is located just below the top of the key inside the free throw semicircle.

The frame of the court is purple and features the word “Northwestern” along one baseline and “Wildcats” along the other in white. Centered along one sideline is “NUsports.com” which is the Northwestern Athletics website, while the opposite sideline features the phrase “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.”

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Penn State Wins Another Battle Over Northwestern

Talor Battle

Hard to decide which type of domination is stronger. Penn State’s college basketball domination over Northwestern, or Talor Battle’s owning of the PSU hoops record book. State has won six in a row and ten of eleven versus NU.

Even when they went 3-15 in conference last year, the Lions still beat the Cats twice. And in the Penn State record book, Battle is first all time in minutes, starts, and (if current projections hold, come Big Ten Tournament time) scoring. He’s also third in field goals, assists, and three-pointers.

And on Thursday night, Penn St. jumped out to a 18-2 lead, never looked back and scored a very convincing 66-52 victory in Evanston.

And tonight saw history as well. Battle became the first player in Big Ten (and just the 10th in NCAA Division 1) history to record 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern takes Michigan State Down to the Wire

Tom Izzo

Although the final outcome was still a loss, it was a much more exciting and interesting loss to Michigan State this time for Northwestern, who took one of their toughest Big Ten opponents down to the final possession.

No wants to believe in nor accept moral victories, but losing to the #18 Spartans, when your star forward John Shurna (the Big Ten’s leading scorer) is clearly not anywhere near himself, is not the worst thing in the world.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern Adds 3 Recruits, 2 with Local Ties

On National Signing Day, Northwestern Wildcats head men’s basketball coach Bill Carmody announced the signing of guards Tre Demps (San Antonio, Texas/Ronald Reagan) and Dave Sobolewski (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) and forward Mike Turner (Chicago, Ill./University of Chicago Laboratory High School) to National Letters of Intent.

“We are excited to welcome Dave, Tre and Mike to our basketball family,” Carmody said in a public statement released by the University.

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Snoop Dogg at Northwestern Midnight Madness Tonight- Fo Schizzle Dizzle


Pour out some gin and juice! For rizeal, the most famous resident of the LBC, Snoop D-O-double G, is coming to Evanston to officially open izup Northwestern Wildcat Basketball season.

Fans are invited to be in the hizzle for SPAC on Friday, Oct. 15 5:30 p.m. to check out the teams at the inaugural Friday Night Hoops. Meet the team, hear from the coaches, watch the players scrimmage, judge the dunk contest and be a part of the action. The event is free and open to the public.

And Later that evening in Welsh-Ryan Arena, A&O Productions proudly presents Snoop Dogg & Kid Cudi for the A&O Blowout 2010. Tickets go on sale online for $15 for Northwestern undergraduates this Friday, Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m. on the Norris Box Office online system.

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