21 December 2009

On NU's early Big Ten conference slate

There is much bemoaning the fact that NU takes on 2009 NCAA tourney teams in each of its first 10 Big Ten tilts. We at Carmody Court welcome this challenge as it gives NU the golden opportunity to make a big splash on the national scene. Imagine if NU goes into C-U and takes down the Illini (a very possible outcome) and rides that momentum to beat Sparty at the Welsh (Sparty has looked anything but unbeatable so far and NU knows we can beat them after the victory at Breslin last year).

After another pastry treat in the form of Texas Pan-Am, NU travels to Ann Arbor where victory is quite possible as the Wolverines have looked but a shell of the team that gelled last season. Wisconsin then comes to the Welsh and they are quite beatable away from Kohl.

Purdue comes to Evanston, and NU will be looking to avenge last year's epic collapse. Plus NU knows that Purdue is beatable having done so in W Lafayette last year. A trip to Columbus looks tough on paper, but the big wildcard here is Evan Turner. Will he be back? If he is back will OSU's chemistry be off? A tough game but a Wildcat win can't be ruled out. The Illini then come to Evanston and again NU will be looking to avenge a collapse at the Welsh.

Trips to Breslin and Williams both sound daunting. These are probably the two least winnable games (maybe add the trip to Columbus here pending E Turner's status) but still not unthinkable. NU has won at both arenas under Coach Carmody so who knows right?

Then Michigan visits the Welsh which should be a win. And there you have it. The 10 game gauntlet which upon further analysis shows that only 2-3 games shape up as likely losses.

Opportunity knocks for NU to make some real noise during the first half of the conference slate. The Big Ten has turned out to be not as good as the preseason projections, and NU gets some of these NCAA tourney teams from last year at a pretty good time.

Start the conference season 2-0 and the media spotlight would be pretty bright in Evanston. Let's do this thing!!!