David Banks-US PRESSWIRE
It's Sunday morning, so let's just smush this non-con preview between Northwestern and Fairleigh Dickinson together with the game thread and call it
Shake off your hangovers and college football needs, and pretend the NFL doesn't exist: there's a basketball matinee at Welsh-Ryan, as Northwestern takes on Fairleigh Dickinson. I've combined the preview and gamethread here, because, uhhh, why not? Anyway, let's get to work.
Are they good?: Oh, heavens no. Although the NEC is a sub-par low-mid conference, it sometimes produces decent non-con opponents for NU like Long Island. The Knights are not that opponent. They're ranked 331st by Kenpom - that's below Texas Southern, above MVSU - and 30 spots lower than any team in their conference. Fairleigh Dickinson has missed out on the eight-team conference tourney each of the past two years, hitting a solid low point last year by finishing 3-26, with wins against St. Peter's, Bryant, and St. Francis (NY), and losses to, well, 26 different teams. Things don't appear to have changed much this season, as their only game thus far is a 117-75 loss to Xavier.
How Dickinson are they?: Fairly. Significantly less so than Emily, but definitely more than you or me. (If you're wondering, Fairleigh Dickinson was basically just a rich dude whose money was used to found the school.)
Where is it?: New Jersey :(
Difference between the amount of times Northwestern has been to the NCAA Tournament and the amount of times Fairleigh Dickinson has: Four, most recently in 2005, when they lost in the first round to Deron Williams' powerhouse Illinois squad. They've never been higher than a 15 seed.
Notable alums: Nobody has ever played a single minute of game action in the NBA from FDU, but Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg went there. So did Ron Blomberg, the first DH in MLB history, continuing the school's passion for Jewish sports figures. Non-sports notables are Peggy Noonan and Christine O'Donnell, so, uhh.
Names: Mustafaa Jones brings an extra A for effort, and Hofstra transfer Yves Jules wants you to know he is French, although he's actually from Canarsie.
Player most likely to go off: Sidney Sanders, Jr., a transfer from Polk State, the same junior college Davon Usher (who scored 35 against Northwestern last week) transferred from.
What should we look for from NU?: A more comfortable performance than Thursday's. NU often has those types of games against non-con teams they should beat by more than whatever the final tally was there - 12? I don't feel like looking. - that's not a problem. If it happens a lot, that's worrisome. They're a very short team, with nobody over 6-foot-7, so we get another opportunity to see if Alex Olah can be a competent big.
Game's at noon, and on the Big Ten's $15 streaming service, so watch it if you can - if not, the game thread and Loretta8's postgame can be your eyes.