Think former SIU football head coach Jerry Kill has courtside seats for tonight's Civil War match up between Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois' basketball teams. My guess is yes!
The Huskies host the return match of last season's 88-68 drubbing at the hands of the then-No. 23 Salukis in which Northern was held scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the game. Here are some notes on tonight's match up.
Yes, I am preparing for my 330+ mile trip home to Chicago for the holiday season. But it doesn't necessarily mean that my job as a sports writer is done just yet. I'll be keeping a close eye on the Salukis of Southern Illinois University in between Christmas shopping and sleeping in.
Tonight's game is a rematch of one of last year's BracketBuster matchups as the Salukis return the favor as they hit the road on what must be their longest road trip of the year to face the Nevada Wolfpack.
Need some help trying to figure out what's up with Nick Fazekas' alma mater. Don't click next blog, just read down the page and you'll learn everything you need to know.
Location: DeKalb, Illinois. It's a hop, skip, jump and snow plow ride away from my house on the North Side of Chicago. The 1 hour 23 minute trek will hopefully go smoothly.
Mascot: Huskies. Cool. I love games which mascots are similar but different. Cue up headlines for Dawg Fights. P.S. Keep Mike Vick away!
Conference: Mid-American Conference. Better known as The MAC, but not the be confused with the football stadium SIU calls home which is also known as "The Mac." P.S. McAndrew Stadium press box needs renovation ... just saying.
Record: 4-6. Two of Northern's wins have come on its home court. SIU is winless away from the SIU Arena. Uh oh time?
Who to watch for: Darion "Jake" Anderson. The sophomore is averaging 19.7 points per game for NIU. For SIU, I'm interested to see how Nick Evans looks in person. He logged a few minutes in the loss against Nevada.
Don't worry about... Michael Turner, Ryan Diem, Garrett Wolfe. Don't worry about 'em because they're all former football greats. And while SIU is a physical squad, this game will pit the minds of Ricardo Patton and Chris Lowery against one another. Not Jerry Kill and Dale Lennon.
The 'X' Factor: Will the third time be the charm for C-Lo as he once again goes for his 100th win as the Salukis' head coach.
Notable: It's a homecoming, bitches. A hearty welcome back to the north for Bryan Mullins (Downers Grove), Ryan Hare (Chicago), Kevin Dillard (Homewood-Flossmoor), Tony Freeman (Maywood), Tony Young (Schaumburg) and Lance Irvin (Chicago).
Quotable: "What do you mean you're going to DeKalb on Wednesday?" -My mother as she wonders why I like my job so much.
Prediction: Homecomings are supposed to be sweet. I don't see SIU losing three-in-a-row, not against an in-state rival. SIU picks up its first road win since Feb. 26 and gives C-Lo his 100th win in the process. Southern Illinois 66 Northern Illinois 55