Tech and Northwestern have a common opponent and last year's game to really base this preview on. Let's start with last year's game. Northwestern returns 72% of the minutes from last year's beatdown of Georgia Tech. The guys that are returning to play Georgia Tech this season shot 27 of 41 from the floor (65.8%) including 11 of 17 from beyond the arc (64.7%) in the debacle known as Georgia Tech's effort in the ACC-B1G Challenge. Tech dropped the game on national television by 20 (only Duke and VT outdistanced Tech worse in the 2010-2011 season).
This year's contest was announced on May 17th, 2011 and both teams almost met once already in the Charleston Classic. Tech dropped their first game (Saint Joseph's) of the season sending the Jackets into the loser's bracket while Northwestern went on to win the tournament. This run by the Wildcats included a defeat of LSU (Tech and Northwestern's only common opponent).
Tech's loss to LSU saw Tech hold the Tigers to an eFG% of 39.1% while Northwestern allowed the Tigers to score 23 more points and shoot an eFG% of 54.5%. On the opposite side of the floor, Tech shot an eFG% of 45.0% while Northwestern threw up 31 three point attempts shooting an eFG% of 54.2%. What plagued Tech in the LSU game was turnovers as Tech coughed up 23 turnovers with only 9 assists. Tech is gonna hve to cut down on turnovers to even have a shot against any team with an offensive identity.
My prediction is not pretty for Tech. The Wildcats have an experienced, deadly accurate lineup that has averaged 72 points/game in the 2011-2012 season. If Tech wins, it'll be because of a defensive miracle and a huge cutdown on turnovers... Tipoff is 7:15PM on ESPNU.