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The “Does The Slipper Still Fit?” Game Thread: #14 Rutgers v. #6 Northwestern

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Will Rutgers gives us an encore of epic proportions tonight?

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Ohio State vs Rutgers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

How To Watch & Listen

#14 Rutgers (15-17) v. #6 Northwestern (21-10)

Where: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.

Tip-off: Thursday, March 9th at approximately 9:00 pm ET (30 minutes after conclusion of #10 Indiana v. #7 Iowa)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: WCTC 1450 AM & WOR are 710 AM - Joe Boylan & Jerry Recco; WRSU 88.7 FM

KenPom Rankings: Rutgers #127; Northwestern #36

KenPom Predictions: Northwester 66 Rutgers 59; Rutgers given a 24% chance to win

Series History: Northwestern leads 8-1 all-time, including all four meetings as members of the Big Ten

B1G Tournament History: Rutgers is 1-2 and is the first #14 seed to win a Big Ten Tournament game since the field expanded to 14 teams three seasons ago.

First Meeting Recap

Second Meeting Recap

Notable Fact: These two programs have the longest droughts for making the NCAA Tournament of any high major schools in college basketball. Rutgers last made it in 1991, while Northwestern has never made it to the big dance.

Game Preview

It’s inching towards the middle of March and Rutgers is still playing meaningful basketball. How much longer is a question that will be answered tonight. This team has nothing to lose and should come out feeling confident tonight. They looked nervous early on against Ohio State and they fell into a quick 10 point hole. The Scarlet Knights need to start fast and take the game to Northwestern tonight.

One thing I am worried about is our big men being tired after the quick turnaround This team played with a lot of energy and crashed the boards hard last night. While I expect their effort to be there tonight, I’m worried players could be a step slow on the defensive end and foul a lot. Northwestern is a good shooting team from the charity stripe, so that would really cause problems in this game for Rutgers.

One thing I’m optimistic about is Corey Sanders having a big game. He has struggled offensively the past three games, shooting just 8 of 38 for 21%. Other than wins over Nebraska and Penn State, when he scored 25 points in both games, he really hasn’t had a complete game where he has dominated the scoring. Could he be due and go off tonight on the national stage? It will take his best performance of the season against All-Big Ten ghard Bryant McIntosh, but he is certainly capable.

I’ll be tweeting live commentary from press row through our OTB Twitter account and join us in the comment section during the game. Let’s hope for an encore tonight! RU rah rah!