The yearly ACC/Big Ten Challenge will matchup the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Northwestern Wildcats for the second year in a row.
Head Coach: Chris Collins (6th season) – 2017-18 Record: 15-17 (6-12) – Big Ten
Head coach Profile:
Former Duke Blue Devil and son of former NBA head coach Doug Collins, Chris Collins is entering his sixth season with Northwestern. After struggling in his first two seasons, the Wildcats won 20 or more games in back-to-back seasons (2015-16, 2016-17) before falling back to Earth last season. This season could end up being a pivotal season in Collins’ tenure.
After going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, the Northwestern Wildcats struggled extensively in 2017-18. The Wildcats saw their record go from 24-12 to a dismal 15-17 last year. It was a tough year for a program that was seemingly on the rise and now it’s back to square one for the Wildcats as it’s expected to be another big year.
In non-conference play last season, the Wildcats struggled throughout their schedule and never really got their footing. It was a bad start to what was going to be a long season for the Wildcats.
- Notable Wins: La Salle, DePaul,
- Notable Losses: Creighton, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma
The Big Ten is without a doubt one of the best conferences in America when it comes to college basketball and with that it, it was tough sledding for the Wildcats last season. The Wildcats went 6-12 in conference play
- Notable Wins: Illinois, Minnesota (x2), Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin
- Notable Losses: Too many to list
Notable players to watch:
- F Derek Pardon – SR
The senior forward averaged 11.3 points per game last year along with 7.1 rebounds per game. He’ll be one of Northwestern’s biggest threats when they take on the Yellow Jackets.
- F Vic Law – SR
The only other player we deem notable is forward Vic Law who is the most experienced Wildcat and all-around is a great basketball player. While he’s not always consistent, he’s a dangerous player who can take over a game when needed.
Expectations entering 2018-19:
After a poor showing in 2017-18, the expectations around the Wildcats this season are pretty low as they rank among the worst teams in the Big Ten. The Wildcats are going to struggle throughout the year and overall expectations similar to the Yellow Jackets for the season.
How the Yellow Jackets matchup:
The Yellow Jackets and Wildcats both have low expectations in reality entering the season and neither teams have anything all too special that puts one above the other but the first few games of the season may help with any early indications. This game should be one that is quite even throughout with one team pulling away late in the game.
Someone like Jose Alvarado, Curtis Haywood II, or Michael Devoe will need to step up in this game for the Yellow Jackets.
You can also read more on Northwestern this season by checking out BustingBracket’s preview of the Wildcats!
Past Non-Conference Opponent Previews/Previews Schedule:
To save time, from here on out, we’re going to give each major conference opponent there each post and give the remaining mid-major opponents abbreviated previews that will consist of two teams each.
November 9th: Lamar Cardinals
November 13th: Tennessee Volunteers
November 16th: East Carolina Pirates
November 21st and 23rd: Texas Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View A&M – Thursday (11/1)
November 28th: Northwestern – Friday (11/2)
December 1st: St. John’s – Saturday (11/3)
December 9th and 17th: Florida A&M and Gardner Webb – Sunday (11/4)
December 19th: Arkansas – Monday (11/5)
Last year:December 22nd: Georgia – Tuesday (11/6)
December 28th and January 2nd: Kennesaw State and USC Upstate– Wednesday (11/7)