NCAA Men’s Basketball: Northwestern Wildcats vs Iowa Hawkeyes- Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 12/29/2020, 3:00 PM EST
Dec 20, 2020; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats center Ryan Young (15) and forward Robbie Beran (31) celebrate a basket against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


NCAA Men’s Basketball action will see a massive ranked clash between heavyweights Iowa Hawkeyes and Northwestern Wildcats. While the Hawkeyes are currently 10th in the AP Top 25, they have been on a steady decline. The Wildcats have had the other trajectory, breaking into the rankings this week.

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The NW Wildcats have had a bunch of impressive wins recently. This includes wins over the ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan State Spartans. A win over the Hawkeyes would firmly establish them as a ranked team and a possible threat to the top-10.

The Hawkeyes had lost a game they were expected to lose against the Gonzaga Bulldogs but then lost to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in an upset which got the Gophers ranked in the Top 25. However, can they stave off this upset?

NCAA Men’s Basketball: Can Luka Garza help the Hawkeyes get a statement win?

The Big 10 is going to be very competitive this season. And the NW Wildcats already sit atop the throne. This was the position that the Hawkeyes fancied themselves in, but their run of bad losses has had other plans. Both their losses were also double-digit losses. Having the shoo-in for Player of the Year in Luka Garza helps the Hawkeyes, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee excellent team play.

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Dec 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) shoots the ball during the first half against the Minnesota Gophers at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

This game should be a shooting delight, as both Iowa and Northwestern are the best three-point shooting teams in this conference. Even though the chatter is about Garza, the talent on this team goes deep, making their struggles that much more confusing.

They will line up with Garza, C.J. Frederick, Joe Wisekamp, Connor McCaffrey, and Jordan Bohannon. The Wildcats will start Boo Buie, Anthony Gaines, Chase Audige, Pete Nance, and Miller Kopp.

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For our prediction, we peg the Hawkeyes to find their early season form and avoid their upset loss against Minnesota turn into the start of a losing streak. Hopefully, Garza can show his talent in a way that also helps the team leave the game with a win.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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