Mascot: Willie the Wildcat
Last time out: Lose to Minnesota
Point Spread: Northwestern by 5.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 7
KenPom rank: 51
- Nebraska recently broke their 7 game losing streak to the Wildcats. Tonight they look for their first win in Evanston since 2018
- Northwestern ranks 342nd in bench minutes as they have 4 starters who average over 30+ minutes per game
- Both Nebraska and Northwestern come into this one having played consecutive OT games
KenPom most used lineups
Player to watch: Boo Buie
5th year starting PG Boo Buie was one of the main catalyst behind Northwestern's surprising run to the NCAA tournament last season and continues to play at a high level, leading the 'Cats in scoring and assists. If Nebraska finds themselves in a close game at the end, NW will be at the advantage simply because they have arguably the best PG in the conference.
Player to watch: Ty Berry
Northwestern isn't quite the defensive team they rolled out last season with Chase Audige graduating but have increased their offensive output in part due to Berry finding his shooting stroke back. After a 38.3% 3pt success two years ago, Berry struggle last season, shooting 29.1% from 3. This season he's hitting a career high 43.1% from 3 and 50.0% from 2.
Player to watch: Brooks Barnhizer
Barnhizer is Northwestern's glue guy where his most important contribution is grabbing rebounds for a Northwestern team that is one of the worst in the conference at this statistic. Barnhizer will add some rim protection along with competent shooting ability. Scored a career and game high 24 points vs Nebraska in Lincoln.
Player to watch: Ryan Langborg
The Princeton transfer is another high level 3pt shooter for the Wildcats and is currently shooting 40.7% from 3. Went 4-10 from 3 in Lincoln vs Nebraska
Others to watch
Matthew Nicholson might be the most noticeable player on the court due to his unmissable stature. He's NW's best rim protector and he almost always makes the right plays. For the last few games 6'10" 255# Luke Hunger has been getting the start over Nicholson, presumably because he allows the 'Cats to play 5 out. Both centers tend to be foul prone. 6'7" forward Nick Martinelli averages 20 minutes of the bench where he brings rebounding and inside scoring.
UNL Game Notes
5 Ahron Ulis 6-3 190 lbs Junior - Likely out for the season
15 Blaise Keita 6-11 257 lbs Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery
11 Eli Rice 6-8 213 lbs Freshman - Ankle injury
Possible starters for Nebraska
10 Jamarques Lawrence 6-3 183 lbs Sophomore
30 Keisei Tominaga 6-2 179 lbs Senior
3 Brice Williams 6-7 213 lbs Junior
53 Josiah Allick 6-8 231 lbs Senior
51 Rienk Mast 6-10 248 lbs Junior
4 Juwan Gary 6-6 221 lbs Junior
0 C.J. Wilcher 6-5 214 lbs Junior
9 Jarron Coleman 6-5 213 lbs Senior
1 Sam Hoiberg 6-0 183 lbs Sophomore
21 Matar Diop 6-10 213 lbs Freshman
35 Henry Burt 6-7 216 lbs RS Freshman
2 Ramel Lloyd Jr. 6-6 210 lbs RS Freshman
31 Cale Jacobsen 6-4 200 lbs RS Freshman
24 Jeffrey Grace III 6-3 197 lbs Sophomore
Nebraska and Northwestern both come into this one with NCAA tournament hopes. With this much season left, this game is more of a 'winner is in better shape' than a 'loser is out' sort of game. Northwestern at home has turned itself from punchline to the type of inhospitable environment where Purdue loses. Does their crowd get as amped for a team like Nebraska?
Northwestern completely sold out to stop the 3 vs Nebraska in Lincoln to the point that Nebraska spent most of the first half running a layup drill. On the flipside, Northwestern was able to generate 18 turnovers in part due to intercepting some of these passes. It will be a balancing act for both teams as Northwestern wins because its shooting and turnovers overcome its lack of production on the boards and at the FT line. If the Huskers can minimize the number of mindless turnovers, they have a great chance in this one.
Nebraska can potentially get away with playing 3 bigs a little easier in this one than in other games given that the NW frontcourt doesn't force many fouls. The rebounding game is very winnable against this NW team even just playing two bigs.
Does either team have more juice here than the other? Northwestern has had an extra day of rest but Nebraska's bench runs deeper. Could decide what should be a close game.
Prediction: Northwestern 82 - Nebraska 78