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12/5 Big Ten Preview: Northwestern Hosts Chicago State

It’s not just Big Ten football facing cancellations in today’s action, but all except one men’s hoops matchup as well.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Northwestern vs Minnesota Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Game of the Day:

-Chicago State vs Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 5 PM EST (BTN)

Northwestern finally got to start their season this week without a blowout 92-49 win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Wednesday. For their second game of the season, the Wildcats welcome 0-4 Chicago State to Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Cougars thus far on the season have lost to Ohio 84-61, Illinois 97-38, NC A&T 74-44, and Eastern Illinois 78-56.

While it is unlikely NU manages to sink 14 three-pointers again in this matchup, the Cougars hardly offer the type of defense that should prove a struggle even with a steep drop-off n offensive performance. The Wildcats had five players score in double-digits with seven scoring at least one three-pointer. Also unlikely NU has quite the rebounding total as the 50 total boards against the Golden Lions, but it should still be a solid margin on the glass.

As for the Cougars, they’re averaging just 49.75 points per game, and losing by an average margin of 33.5 points. Chicago State returned 70 percent of its minutes and 74.5 percent of its scoring last season, but that was on a team that went 4-25 overall and 0-14 in the Western Athletic Conference. Junior guard Jordan Polynice leads the team in scoring with 8.5 points per game, while junior forward Aaris-Monte Bonds leads in rebounding with 4.8 boards per game.

Isaiah Lewis, out of Romulus, MI is second in scoring with 7.3 points per game and leads the team in assists with 2 per game. Xavier Johnson is third in scoring with 6.8 points per game and Rajeir Jones out of Baltimore, MD is fourth with 6.3 points per game. Lou Demuth is fifth in scoring with 5.5 points, but second in rebounding with 3.5 per game.

Unless Northwestern is having a truly off day, this one should probably be in the bag by halftime for NU. The real suspense should be whether the Wildcats can cover the enormous spread of 32 points.

  • Pick: Northwestern

Cancelled: Maryland Terrapins vs James Madison; Alabama A&M vs Ohio State Buckeyes; UT Martin vs. Illinois Fighting Illini