30 November 2011


We are on Cloud Nine.  Not only did NU's wire-to-wire victory last night at Georgia Tech provide for a most enjoyable meal but also it was followed by a delectable dessert when Ohio State pantsed Duke on ESPN with a disheartened DukieV on the call.  What a perfect evening of college basketball.

Northwestern outclassed the Yellow Jackets once again in the Challenge rematch.  The game was over for all intents and purposes with 5 minutes to go in the second half.  What a joy it was to watch NU dominate an ACC foe on the road.

Johnny Shurna showed off his all-around game.  Drew Crawford continued to show that he is ready to elevate his game this year.  Dave Sobolewski continued to grow remarkably into the point guard role.  Reggie Hearn provided solid minutes especially on the defensive end.  Luka Mirkovic got his offense on.  Alex Marcotullio showed improvement.  Even Davide Curletti knocked down a wide open three.  The only real downer about the game was JerShon Cobb dressed in street clothes for his homecoming.  JerShon's family and friends had to be disappointed when they received the news that he sustained a mild concussion in the Stony Brook game and would be forced to sit this one out.

In the bigger picture the B1G leads the ACC 4 games to 2.  We aren't surprised by the W-L outcomes of last night's games, but we are surprised by the lack of competitiveness in each of the games.  To whit the closest final margin of victory was 9 points (Illinois over Maryland in College Park). Things are looking good for the B1G in this year's challenge.  Even if we adjust the kenpom probabilities to reflect the fact that North Carolina is favored by 7 points or so in their battle with Wisconsin, the B1G now stands about a 83% chance of winning this thing for three years running with the most likely outcome a 8-4 victory.

In the even bigger picture NU basketball has now put together several rock solid foundation stones for its proverbial NCAAs facebook wall.  Two more large stones are on the horizon with Baylor coming to visit the Welsh on Sunday and then a roadie at Creighton on December 22nd.  However let's not get the cart before the horse.  Next up is a Friday evening date at the Welsh with M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I Valley State (1-5) of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.  The Delta Devils are projected to be the class of the SWAC which really isn't saying much since the SWAC is rated by kenpom as the weakest in all the land.  MVSU is currently ranked #275 by kenpom which is subject to change with a game at Arkansas on the docket for tonight (forgive us for penning in a L for the DDevils in the countdown clock).