There's three games left in Northwestern's season. The Wildcats have to win all three to even be remotely considered for an NCAA bid and finish the Big Ten season at 9-9.
Thursday night Penn State comes to Welsh-Ryan Arena (8 p.m.) and the Wildcats are going to have to contain the Nittany Lions outstanding guard combo of Talor Battle and Tim Frazier. Since the Lions are small inside, their guards (Battle and Frazier) have had to step in and do some rebounding. NU may have a home-court advantage after dropping its earlier contest at Penn State Feb. 13, a 65-41 loss.
Then the Wildcats have to head north to Madison, Wis. for a date with the Badgers on Sunday at the Kohl Center, always a tough place to play. The fact that Wisconsin already beat NU soundly on Jan. 23 (78-46) will probably still be on the Wildcats' minds, but they will have to push those bad memories out if they want to win their last regular season road game.
NU coach Bill Carmody said Monday that he isn't sure if sophomore guard Alex Marcotullio's thumb is dislocated, but since Marcotullio injured it his game "is on the rise."