WHO: Northwestern Wildcats (15-15, 6-11 B1G) | KenPom #86
WHEN: 6:300 PM CT
WHERE: Carver Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
RADIO: Learfield Sports affiliates
ONLINE AUDIO: TuneIn
VEGAS: Iowa -3.5
One more game until this miserable regular season is finally over. Bizarrely, it comes against an opponent that Iowa has yet to see this season. Yes, thanks to the inscrutable machinations of the Delanybot 9000, Iowa and Northwestern's only meeting this year is tonight, in the final game of the season. That's a bit odd, but who can truly fathom the inner workings of the Delanybot 9000, you know?
Like Iowa's last game against Minnesota, this match-up also pits two teams on serious losing streaks against one another. Iowa enters on a six-game losing streak, but Northwestern is on a five-game losing streak of their own. Neither team has won since February 6 (Iowa hasn't won since January 30), but someone must get a W tonight. Iowa proved to be the perfect slumpbuster for the Gophers on Wednesday night, but hopefully that won't be the case for Northwestern tonight.
This game will also finalize the seeds for the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa is already locked into one of the bottom three seeds and guaranteed to play on Wednesday, but which seed they get is still in flux. If they beat Northwestern, they'll finish tied with Illinois at 4-14 in Big Ten play, but they'll earn the #12 seed ahead of the Illini thanks to their head-to-head win earlier this season. If Iowa loses to Northwestern, they'll finish tied with Rutgers at 3-15 for last place in the Big Ten, but they'll learn the #14 seed because Rutgers has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Iowa (sigh). So if Iowa wins, they'll face Illinois in the 12/13 game on Wednesday at 4:30 PM CT. If Iowa loses, they'll face Minnesota in the 11/14 game on Wednesday at approximately 7 PM CT.
Iowa's also trying to avoid some ignominious history today, as noted by Land of 10's Scott Dochterman. With a loss they'll finish in last place for the first time since 1994 and only the second time since 1939. Iowa would also finish 3-15 in Big Ten with a loss tonight; they haven't finished with three losses or fewer in league play since 1964. Those are lows that even the Lickliter Era managed to avoid.
The usual rules apply.