NU's odds of an upset just got longer as John Shurna is out with his concussion. That said, concussions are serious things and he shouldn't play if symptoms are still lingering. To be honest, I wish he hadn’t played the second half vs Minnesota with a concussion. I know it was said he didn’t have symptoms, but I don’t know how one could watch that play and not think a concussion likely.
With Shurna out NU’s chances of winning are slim to none and I think slim is standing by the door waiting for his wife to finish chatting with neighbors so he can walk out. With that in mind, what I want to see from Northwestern tonight most is, obviously, still a win. But in the world realistic expectations what I want to see is maximum effort. At times Northwestern doesn’t play hard. They don’t. And that’s been the case for a couple years now and it’s my biggest frustration with this team and coaching staff. How you lack intensity in some of your only 18 Big Ten games a season is beyond me, but NU mangers it regularly. So, again, what I want to see tonight is NU fight until they absolutely cannot fight anymore. They need to hustle on defense, dive for loose balls, get bodies on rebounders, and never stop moving on offense. Doing all those things might still result in a loss. It probably will, but it’ll least give them an outside outside chance and give the fans reason to cheer their efforts.
Just to offer one other thought, with Shurna gone I’d probably revise my prediction and say OSU, 69 NU, 43 because I think the odds of NU getting points are significantly reduced. But this is Northwestern basketball and it exists to rip out your heart and then kick it around in a really intense game of soccer. Therefore, part of me would have not be surprised whatsoever if Northwestern plays this game close and loses like 50 to 48.