Penn State–Northwestern Preview
And then God made Talor Battle and there was much rejoicing….
I don’t want to say that I’m looking forward to this season ending, but I do think that the offseason could come soon and it’ll be ok. Northwestern isn’t really any different than they were two games ago. They shoot ok, they play decent defense, and the hustle when they’re on the floor (I guess you could hustle from the bench, but I’m not sure how). For Penn State to get the win they’ll have to stick to the same inside-outside approach that worked the last time these two teams played.
A win against Northwestern actually could give the Lions a chance to not finish dead-last in the Big Ten. Believe it or not there is still a race for 10th place. As sad as it sounds, it is true. Iowa plays Indiana so one of those teams will have 4 wins in the Big Ten. Indiana then plays Purdue and Northwestern, both games which their opponents should be favored in. That should end Indiana’s season with 3-4 Big Ten wins.
Iowa on the other hand plays Wisconsin and then Minnesota, both games on the road. Iowa too should be the underdog in those games and should end the Big Ten season with 3 wins. So between Indiana and Iowa, one of those teams will have 3 Big Ten wins, and one of them will have 4. That means that Penn State only needs to win their last two games to finish in 10th place and draw the 2nd place team in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
This does assume that Penn State will beat Purdue or MSU, but they did manage to pull off the upset last season when Purdue was without Hummel. It currently remains to be seen how the Boilermakers will play without him, but if the Lions are looking for the upset, Hummel’s absence can only help their cause. It is a long shot, but I’ve sort of come to terms with that. (That being said, I hope the best for his rehab, I would much rather have Hummel be healthy than have Penn State beat Purdue. It would be fun, but he has put in too much work for me to not wish him well.) Either way, splitting the last two games could give the Lions the 10th spot.