Another road game in Welsh-Ryan
last year Dan Dakich helped prepare Eric Gordon for the Illini crowd by telling him, "If you're worried about some engineering student from Wilmette in an orange shirt, you're not as tough as I thought you were." that same advice could be given to Craig Moore and Kevin Coble tonight, as there figures to be plenty of orange in NU's home gym.
this year's U of I squad has exceeded expectations after a losing season last year. but NU has won 4 in a row at home and Illinois has lost 4 in a row on the road. there is no reason the Wildcats should get run off the floor, but this will be the best team they face in the rest of the regular season. now that we've all moved on from those brief ncaa tournament thoughts, this squad needs to focus on forgetting the Iowa debacle and avoiding a collapse down the stretch. as all Northwestern fans know, an NIT bid is a pretty big deal.
our best hope is that the Northwestern kids aren't outnumbered in their own building - since it won't be surprising if NU's non-student fans are - and that the team team can recapture some of that FSU/ESPN2 magic. it would also help if the Fighting Illini's athleticism failed at key moments of the game.