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12/17 Big Ten Preview: More Local Action for Northwestern

The Wildcats take on another Chicagoland foe

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Finals Week is over, which means that basketball is back. Most teams are looking to feast on some holiday cupcakes before Christmas, and Monday’s lone game is no exception.

Game of the Night

-Chicago State Cougars at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 9:00 EST, ESPNU
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern (-28)

When we last saw Northwestern, they were dispatching Chicagoland rival DePaul. Back in action after a lengthy break, the Wildcats face another local school Monday night, the Chicago State Cougars.

Let’s not pretend like Chicago State has any chance. The WAC school is not only one of the worst teams in the country, it’s one of the worst-run schools in the country. Every so often, you see another article about whether they should close their doors for good.

Indiana beat Chicago State by 49. DePaul beat them by 34. The Cougars have one D-I road win in the past five years. I don’t want to beat up on them too much, but this one is going to be a slaughter from the word go. If there was ever a game that a Big Ten fan can skip in good conscience, it’s this one.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Northwestern might come out a little rusty, and the Cougars did manage to stay within 27 of Notre Dame, which may be a better team than Northwestern. The other abysmal team that Northwestern played—Binghamton—they beat by... exactly 28 points. Hm. This feels like a push, but my rule of thumb is to take the Big Ten in all tossups. Give me the Cats.

Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 14-17-1