TV Schedule: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 8:00 p.m. ET, BTN
Stadium: XFINITY Center
With just one win, the Northwestern Wildcats could go from fringe NCAA tournament team to easily being in the tournament field. FACT: A win against the Maryland Terrapins would go a very, very long way. Luckily for Northwestern, it will take on Maryland next.
Northwestern is still in the Big Dance conversation. After all, it has a 15-4 record in the middle of January. That record aside, the Wildcats don’t really have that impressive of a resume. They need a signature win. What is more signature than knocking off a team like the Terps?
Speaking of the Terps, they will enter this contest with a 16-2 record, and they are also ranked as high as No. 5 in college hoops.
Although a road win against one of the top teams in the country would certainly scream madness, Northwestern likely has to play a — I don’t know — perfect game to win. The Wildcats have already taken on the Terrapins once, and they ended up losing by the score of 72-59 — and that game was played at home for them.
Northwestern sits at just 3-3 in conference play. Meaning: It needs to get above .500 if it plans on not sweating it out on Selection Sunday.
Basically, knocking off Melo Trimble & Co. is going to take a perfect game from Northwestern, which means the Wildcats likely have to search for that signature win somewhere else. But hey, they do play three more ranked opponents in a row after this contest. Yeah, we will see how serious Northwestern is about making the tourney in a few games.
PREDICTION: Wildcats 61, Terrapins 80