For Penn State it is very simple. Win. The Nittany Lions have three remaining games on their schedule, two of which come on the road, something Penn State has only been able win on once this season. If the Nittany Lions are going to go dancing, they'll need to pick up at least one more road win, two would be ideal.
On Northwestern's side they're trying to generate a consistancy that has been missing all season. This includes the first matchup between these two teams when Northwestern couldn't buy a basket even when they were looking at wide open layups.
When it comse to the game plan Northwestern will need to utlize their usually consistant outside shooting at home against Penn State's horrible peremiter defense. If the Wildcats are able to get going from the outside it will open up the floor to more options spreading a sometimes suspect Nittany Lion defense out.
For Penn State this game will be about using their size and athletic ability to their advantage. With Jeff Brooks getting more and more healthy and Tim Frazier finding his offensive game as well as his continued success running the offense Penn State has only added weapons to their arsenal.
A victory tonight would move Northwestern to 8-9 and keep their slim bubble hopes alive where a victory for the Nittany Lions would give them a key road win and a 8-8 record on the year. Both teams have a couple games remaining to solidify their tournament resumes although it seems Penn State has a better shot at doing so with their remaining contests rather than Northwestern. As always though, the Big Ten is a unpredicatble conference and anything can happen.