Northwestern Basketball: 5 Crucial Games In 2014-15

By Matt Johnson

Northwestern Basketball: 5 Crucial Games In 2014-15

Chris Collins
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The Northwestern Wildcats enter year two of the Chris Collins era hoping to rebound from last season’s 14-19 record. With a young roster featuring just two seniors, the Wildcats face a steep learning curve and will look to improve as the season progresses. Here are five key games for Collins and the Wildcats in 2014-15.

5. Nov. 25 vs. Miami (Ohio)

John Cooper
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5. Nov. 25 vs. Miami (Ohio)

John Cooper
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The Wildcats venture out to Mexico to take on the Redhawks in the Cancun Challenge. With both teams coming off losing campaigns in 2013-14, expect a hard-fought battle as the two sides try to build early momentum for the rest of their respective campaigns.

4. Dec. 3 vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets
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4. Dec. 3 vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Yellowjackets
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Northwestern will get its first home date with major conference competition when it hosts the Yellowjackets as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. With conference bragging rights on the line and a Georgia Tech team also looking to rebound from last season, the Wildcats have an opportunity to make a statement against coach Brian Gregory’s team.

3. Dec. 30 at Rutgers

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
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3. Dec. 30 at Rutgers

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
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The Wildcats will open Big Ten action against conference rookies Rutgers in their last game of the 2014 calendar year. With dates against Wisconsin and Michigan State set to follow, Northwestern will look to pick up a big road win before facing off against the Badgers and Spartans.

2. Jan. 14 vs. Illinois

Illinois Fighting Illini
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2. Jan. 14 vs. Illinois

Illinois Fighting Illini
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Northwestern will get a home date with the rival Illini sandwiched between road trips to Michigan State and Michigan. Contests with Illinois are always a high priority for Northwestern, and with in-state bragging rights on the line, the Wildcats hope to protect their home court in the first of two season meetings with Illinois.

1. Jan. 31 vs. Purdue

Matt Painter
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1. Jan. 31 vs. Purdue

Matt Painter
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The Wildcats’ home game with Purdue breaks up a three-game road swing featuring contests at Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Northwestern will likely consider this game a must-win if Collins and the Wildcats hope to make the postseason in 2014-15.

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