The Northwestern Wildcats are looking to rebound from a very disappointing season. However, they will be challenged in their second game of the year.
Northwestern will play the Stanford Cardinal on Nov. 14.
Stanford is not expected to win the Pac-12 or anything like that, but it could end up making the NCAA tournament. The Cardinal won 19 games last season and finished with a conference record of 9-9. That was much better than the Wildcats.
They finished with an overall record of 13-19 and a Big Ten record of 4-14.
It does not help that Stanford will be returning a lot of talent and will more than likely compete for a conference title. I doubt that it will be able to beat Arizona, UCLA or Colorado in the conference standings, but you never know. Stanford could easily end up in the top five of the conference standings.
Northwestern will be the underdog in that game, but it does help that Drew Crawford will be back. Crawford is the best player on the team and he will have to have a very solid season if the Wildcats are going to make the tourney. Northwestern has never made the Big Dance and it probably will not have the team to do so in the 2013-14 season.
Whether the case, Northwestern will be challenged right away. Beating Stanford would not be the biggest upset in the world, but it would still be a great start for a team that is not expected to do a whole lot this year.