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Preview: Northwestern vs. DePaul - Can Cobb Push Wildcats To Victory?

The Wildcats have been on a bit of a roll recently, can they continue that against DePaul?

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

DePaul (7-5, 0-0) vs. Northwestern (7-5, 0-0)

TV: BTN, BTN2GO 9:00 PM EST

Line: Northwestern -4

Series Record: DePaul leads 19-10

Last Meeting: 2008 (Northwestern 63-36)

Blog Representation: Sippin' On Purple

The Northwestern Wildcats have had an up and down season, but have won three in a row and look to keep the momentum going Friday night against the DePaul Blue Demons before opening up B1G play next week against #4 Wisconsin. DePaul is coming off a tough loss to Illinois State, 69-64, but had won three straight before that. This is a big game for both teams as the winner gets a major conference victory on their resume and the loser will be taunted and booed until the city of Chicago's throat is sore.

DePaul's best win this year is...Oregon State? UW-Milwaukee? Umm, look, DePaul hasn't had a signature win yet this year and if last year is any indication they won't get one. Going into the first year of the revamped Big East, the Blue Demons were predicted to finish last and have done nothing to change anyone's mind so far. Despite the mediocre start to the season, DePaul boasts four players averaging double digits in scoring and returned the highest scoring duo in the conference with Cleveland Melvin (16.5 PPG this year) and Brandon Young (15.3 PPG).

Projected Starting Lineups:

Northwestern

DePaul

Sanjay Lumpkin F

Sandi Marcius F

Drew Crawford F

Cleveland Melvin F

Alex Olah C

Tommy Hamilton IV C

Dave Sobolewski G

Brandon Young G

James Montgomery G

Billy Garrett Jr. G

Player to Watch:

The 6'8" Melvin may have his first name and last name switched around, but this confusion has not affected his play on the court. He leads the team (and is sixth in the Big East) with the aforementioned 16.5 points per game as well as rebounds per game (7.2) and blocks per game (1.2). He is a legit all-conference performer and will be a nightmare for the undersized Northwestern frontcourt, where the 6'5" Drew Crawford has been playing a lot of power forward.

Prediction:

70-68, Northwestern wins on a last second JerShon Cobb jumper. Northwestern has already beaten UIC this year, and if they are able to take out DePaul tonight they will be the kings of Chicago college basketball for the year (despite ducking Chicago State and Loyola). BIG GAME! To check if my prediction is correct, look here!