Originally Posted by Kirijax
This Northwestern matchup worries me. Canes are peaking right now but it looks like the Wildcats are too. And they beat us in February so it could be tough.
Feb. Northwestern Results
I'm an NU alum and fan and I'd say the same thing. The Canes worry me.
Both teams are playing well at the right time. NU didn't have a great season compared to basically the past 12-15 years (though all of their losses were to Top 20 teams, mostly Top 15 teams). But, they really got it together at the end of the season and beat both Michigan and Nebraska (who they had lost to during the regular season) to win the Big 10 tournament. Those teams also advanced to the Sweet 16.
Don't know what to take from the Team Indoors win by NU. First, it was close, so I don't think NU is actually that much better. This is the sort of match that could produce different results every time it's played with the teams exchanging wins. Second, the lineup for NU should be fairly different than earlier in the season, and I don't know how that will play out. I guess the good thing for NU is simply the confidence from knowing that they can beat Miami.
Not sure if the conditions will favor any team. It's a short trip for NU and they're familiar with the facility, but I don't think that's much of an advantage.
NU rarely surprises in the post-season. They've only missed the Rnd 16 once in the past 15+ years, but they usually do exactly as expected or slightly underachieve. For example, not long ago NU had two seasons where they won the Indoors, achived No. 1 ranking, were consistently ranked in the Top 5, garnered Top 4 seeds for the NCAAs, but don't have at least a SF to show for it. They lost to very good teams each of those years, but still, they had legit opportunities and did not capitalize. Most other years they simply live up to their seeding.
A quarterfinal appearance would be a great achievement this year, even by way of beating a team they have already beat. It would be a slight overchievement, which would be nice to see.