Rutgers faces must win in regular season finale vs. Northwestern
Rutgers (18-12; 10-9) will host Northwestern (20-10; 11-8) on Sunday in the regular season finale that is a must win for their NCAA Tournament chances. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network at 7:30 p.m.
They won the first meeting in Evanston in January 65-62 as Cam Spencer hit the game winning three in the closing seconds. The Wildcats come to the RAC on a three game losing streak. The Scarlet Knights return home after losing their two at the RAC and looking to rebound after a unthinkable collapse at Minnesota on Thursday night.
Due to time restraints, I was unable to write a full traditional preview. Instead, I prepared a video previewing the rematch between Rutgers and Northwestern.
Keys to the game are closing out on threes against a team that takes 41% of their shots from behind the arc, and getting Cliff Omoruyi more involved than in the first meeting. Northwestern doesn’t turn it over much but they don’t shoot at a high clip either. They also don’t defend the three particularly well. Limiting second chance scoring opportunities and limiting turnovers on offense are keys as well. Defending without fouling is key as the Wildcats shoot 75% from the foul line.
It’s Caleb McConnell’s last home game and could be Paul Mulcahy’s as well. There have been plenty of ups and downs this season, but those two seniors deserve the ultimate respect. Of course, the proper sendoff would come with a victory. Getting Mulcahy going after a recent slump and playing together on both ends is crucial to the outcome as well.
Here is my preview video. Thanks for reading and watching as always.
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