Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Senior Night With A Lot To Play For

Northwestern’s roster features four seniors: Nick Fruendt, Davide Curletti, Luka Mirkovic and John Shurna. These four players are the winningest group in the history of Northwestern Men’s Basketball and will finish their careers having played in the post season every year and having never had a losing season. That’s remarkable in the history of Northwestern basketball and while Shurna is clearly the star in the group, the other three seniors deserve credit as well as each had huge games in their career.

Fruendt in the Big Ten Tournament last year vs Minnesota.

Curletti this year against Michigan State.

Luka with a double-double as a sophomore vs #6 Purdue.

There are players in the country who play all four years and don’t have those moments and when these seniors are honored on Wednesday night, I hope our fans can remember those moments and the many more positive moments this class had brought to NU hoops and cheer loudly.

I also hope more great moments arrive during the game.

In NU basketball history more often than not senior night has rolled around without a lot on the line. The notable NIT-clincher against Michigan in 1994 might have been the last time the ‘Cats seniors played their final home game with something to play for besides pride.

On Wednesday night everything is on the line for Northwestern. I’ll admit to being a doubter, but the NCAA Tournament is still out there for the taking. For Ohio State, the odds are against them, but a Big Ten Championship is out there for the taking. Is that enough motivation for these two teams? I’d think so.

If not? Well, there is always still pride. Northwestern hasn’t owned home court as well as they should have with four seniors. Ohio State hasn’t dominated the Big Ten they way they should have with a trio of stars in William Buford, Jared Sullinger, and Aaron Craft. Not to mention a supporting cast of Buckeyes with talent to spare. Can the ‘Cats make a final home statement that won’t be forgotten anytime soon? Can the Buckeyes make a statement that warns Michigan State they better be ready or the Big Ten Title they thought was theirs alone with slip from the their grasp? We’ll see starting at 7:30CT.

I’m looking for Ohio State to attempt to attack NU’s zone as they did earlier this year and for NU to move the game at a more consistent pace as opposed to some of the rushed shots they took in the first meeting between these teams. Nearly everything is on the line for both squads. With that in mind, I have to take the team that’s won everything before. I predict: Ohio State, 67 Northwester, 56

1 comment:

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