Thursday, April 23, 2009

NU to play at NC State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

As was expected by many, Northwestern will be on the road in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at NC State. The Wolfpack finished 2008-2009 with similar numbers to the Wildcats. They were 16-14 overall and 6-10 in the ACC. Northwestern was 17-14 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten. On the face of it this looks like a good matchup for Northwestern because the Wildcats return four starters and four of their top five scorers. NC State on the other hand will lose their top three scorers. That said, NC State has singed a very solid recruiting class so the Woldpack should not be discounted. They will also have the advantage of playing at home. Northwestern is 3-7 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge overall, but all three wins have been in home contests. The Wildcats are 0-5 on the road in the Challenge, including a 74-49 drubbing at the hands of NC State in the 2002 event. If Northwestern can beat this ACC opponent on the road it will be a major signal of program improvement. Not as significant as the win at Michigan State last year, but significant nonetheless. It’s a shame we have to wait till December 1st to find out what happens.

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