Northwestern playing on the road has been very bad overall for the 'Cats so URI's 13-2 home mark has to be a concern. The good news is that Rhode Island only makes 33.3% of their 3-point shots. That means NU can probably play the 1-3-1 which is a much better choice at this point than NU's awful matchup/switching man-to-man which allows almost constant mismatches in the other team's favor. The Rams do have a 7-0 center in Will Martell, but he only plays 22.6 mpg which means he probably has foul issues. That's good because at 59.3 FG% he would love to get matched up on Michael "Juice" Thompson down low. URI doesn't turn the ball over much, but the 1-3-1 can be trouble for teams if they haven't seen much of it and I don't believe they have. Also, they aren't great rebounders which gives some hope as far as Northwestern not giving up much in terms of second chance shots. It's probably not the best matchup for Northwestern, but it's a game the Wildcats probably can win at first glance. I'd say they'll need a big foul free game from Luka Mirkovic and a hot shooting night from either Nash or Crawford to help Thompson in order to pull the upset. I'd also say NU needs to stay in the game at all times and can't get out of the contest early and then have to try to fight back. Much more to come before Wednesday.
Some Quick Facts
-RIU is in Kingston, RI
-Lamar Odom is probably URI's most famous basketball alum
-They play home games in the 7,657-seat Ryan Center
-Tickets go on sale Monday at 10am via Ticket Master
-The Illinois game at Stony Brook (who is 12-1 at home) follows NU @ URI on ESPNU Wednesday night