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Northwestern Wildcats – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Northwestern Wildcats – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

Northwestern Wildcats (Overall: 23-11, Conf: 10-8)

College Basketball News and Previews

Team Strengths:

The Northwestern Wildcats will be going dancing for the first time in their program history. Sunday’s selection ended a brutal 78-year stretch in which Northwestern did not get invited to the national tournament. Head coach Chris Collins has done a masterful job of transforming this once-beleaguered squad with the Wildcats going 43-23 the past two seasons.

What makes this Northwestern side different from past teams is their athleticism, particularly on the wings. Scottie Lindsey and Vic Law are each averaging more than 12 points and a steal per night this season. Lindsey and Law can switch defensive assignments on the fly and that will be a major weapon for Collins come tourney time. Defense has been Northwestern’s main calling card this season with the Wildcats surrendering just 65.1 points per game this campaign. That’s 34th-fewest in the entire nation. The Wildcats are pegged at +20,000 to win this year’s national tournament.

Team Weaknesses:

The Wildcats eat opponents alive on defense, but they sometimes get swallowed on the opposite end of the floor. Northwestern is 231st in the nation in scoring, averaging just 71.1 points per game this season. Other than Bryant McIntosh, Lindsey and Law, there are no other players scoring in double figures for the Wildcats. This was brutally exposed in Northwestern’s humiliating 76-48 loss to Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Team Stats:

Category Stat Rank
Points Per Game 71.1 231
Rebounds Per Game 36.2 153
Assists Per Game 15.3 65
3-Point Percentage 34.1 220
Free Throw Percentage 75.1 36

Starting Lineup:

Position Name PPG
F Vic Law 12.4
C Dererk Pardon 8.5
G Sanjay Lumpkin 6.1
G Scottie Lindsey 14.2
G Bryant McIntosh 14.4

Writer’s Prediction:

Northwestern (+20,000) wins its first-ever game in the NCAA Tournament but eventually exits in the second round.

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Written by Joel

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