13 March 2011

Near miss against OSU, NIT home game reward

So NU gave OSU its stiffest competition in Indy, pushing the Buckeyes to OT before succumbing to Jared Sullinger and his indomitable will. Credit John Shurna for showing us what we have been missing most of the Big Ten season. Credit also goes to Luka Mirkovic and Davide Curletti. Yes, their box score was nothing to write home about, but the box score doesn't reflect, at least directly, the stellar work they did in bodying up Sullinger. The cumulative tally of their unsung efforts can be seen in Sullinger's woeful shooting from the field.

NU really missed JerShon Cobb in this game. Alex Marcotullio, thrust into a starting role in Cobb's absence, really struggled on both ends of the court. On offense, for someone billed as a bomber, Alex misses more than his fair share of open looks from downtown. On defense, he had too many breakdowns which gave OSU wide open looks. Diebler also successfully drove to the hole a couple of times against Marcotullio. Not good.

But onward and upward as they say. NU is the lone Big Ten rep in the NIT as seven brethren are bound for the NCAAs and Minnesota was wisely left out in the cold by the NIT. NU actually gets to host a game against UW-Milwaukee, a team we know very little about despite their proximity to Etown. We have a few days to bone up on the UWMers so fret not Carmody Courters. We will have your back with the definitive pre game rundown.

For now it's a hearty congrats to Juice, Mike, Ivan, and Jeff. One more game at the Welsh and a third straight NIT. Not what you dreamt of this offseason, but not all that bad given how the season played out.