So now is not the time to go into the whole Northwestern basketball/NCAA tournament historical lesson. ‘Cats fans, you know the drill. But there is movement toward Northwestern potentially breaking another Chicago-area sports curse based on the quality of the team’s non-conference schedule.
With all due respect to The Sports Bank, the basic story is identified here. And if the always wonderful-to-pursue KenPom rankings are any sign, Northwestern’s #43 RPI ranking has the potential to get higher as the Wildcats embark on BIG play in the coming weeks. Sure eventually Chris Collins’ team will have to beat teams like Butler and Notre Dame but wins over a young but talented Texas squad that took Michigan to the final seconds in Ann Arbor, the aforementioned Demon Deacons and a woodshed-thumping of DePaul are small but critical steps toward Land of 68. Regardless, perhaps this is a different Northwestern.
The level of talent is continuing to improve in Evanston and the eventual return of sophomore Dererk Pardon will certainly help. For now, a better schedule certainly helps. Circle that December 17 date against Dayton at the United Center.