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Posts Tagged ‘Big Ten’

In what has been an up and down roller coaster ride the past 3-4 seasons, as the Northwestern Men’s Basketball team continues to keep my heart rate at an all-time high, the Cats were able to secure a huge early season win Tuesday night. We have come as close as 1 win away in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 to emerging from the exceptionally small pack and getting our name announced during the Selection Sunday Show – becoming the first program in Northwestern history to make the “Big Dance.” A dream that many Northwestern fans throughout the world continue to hope and pray will happen in 2012-2013!

The Wildcats traveled to Waco, TX Tuesday evening to take on the Baylor Bears and their tremendously athletic team. Coming off of a disappointing loss to the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) this past Saturday, the Cats bounced back fiercely and clawed their way to a HUGE road win early in this 2012-2013 campaign. Only connecting on 2-7 free throws down the stretch kept Baylor in the game but Northwestern was able to make the plays to finish off the Bears – giving Coach Bill Carmody the victory and a much more enjoyable plane trip back to O’Hare in Chicago.

The one downfall for Northwestern throughout the years has been steady play during the course of the season. From start to finish, the Cats need to keep the momentum going from wins such as Baylor and carry that into the game Saturday night against an up-and-coming Butler Bulldog team. The Bears came off of a huge win earlier in the week against the previously #2 ranked team in the country,  Kentucky, but let their guard down against the “Purple” Wildcats! We cannot allow that to happen Saturday.

Drew Crawford, Dave Sobolewski, and Reggie Hearn continue to lead the Cats in all facets of the game. The addition of Jared Swopshire has made the Cats a real contender this year in the Big Ten. Swopshire graduated from the University of Louisville in 2012 but because of injury (missing an entire season) was granted an additional year of eligibility by the NCAA. Luckily for the Wildcat community, he chose Northwestern University as his school of choice to continue his education.

Jared Swopshire

Jared Swopshire

Photo courtesy of (http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/colleges/post/_/id/7900/swopshire-northwestern-making-a-perfect-match)

 

Let’s make it 8-2 Saturday night. GO CATS!!!

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In a move that will shake yet another power conference, the Big Ten will announce the additional of Rutgers and Maryland on Tuesday. They will begin competition in the 2014-2015 academic year. As teams continue to move from conference to conference, the Big Ten felt an obligation to follow suit. I feel that this is just the beginning and two additional teams will be named to the Big Ten in the coming months or year. This will allow two solid/deep divisions that we have seen with the Big East in recent years.

I have read mixed feelings, as some alumni/coaches are strongly against the change. Michigan State men’s basketball coach voiced his opinion on Sunday afternoon, “I’m not a big fan of it, maybe because I’m spoiled on traditionalism. I’m questioning travel, and how hard schools and academics (could become); they keep upping the academic standards, and they keep making teams travel more, and that worries me a little bit.” Being a former athlete…traveling and playing on week nights made attending class the following day extremely tough. There would be some nights the team would not get back to campus until 2am-3am. Now the Big Ten will have teams, such as Iowa, traveling all the way to New Jersey to play Rutgers. We will see quickly how this affects student-athletes.

I personally feel that by 2016 or 2017 we will see four major power conferences. I think we will have the SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and either the Big 12 or ACC. These four conferences will have 16-20 teams and will occupy all major BCS schools in the country. The administrators/board of trustees of these specific institutions continue to see where the money is and what major conferences can do for their programs. The additional television exposures are also very important considerations. With the departure of Maryland from the ACC, you will more than likely see Louisville or UCONN fighting over the membership to join the tradition rich conference.

Let’s hope this does not start to hurt some of the traditionalism, as Tom Izzo stated, that we have seen for so many years. Only time will tell…

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