EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Unbeaten and on the rise, No. 16 Northwestern would like to stay that way now that Big Ten play is about to begin.

The Wildcats (4-0) host Minnesota (3-1) in the conference opener Saturday, hoping to build on a promising start.

Northwestern got off to a 4-0 start in 2013 after a 10-win season, only to blow a 10-point lead against Ohio State and free fall from there.

The Wildcats finished 5-7, posted an identical record in 2014, and came into this season with little fanfare. But they are looking good at the moment with wins over Stanford in the opener and at Duke two weeks ago.

Northwestern got by Ball State last week, and now comes a big step with the start of Big Ten play.

Minnesota comes in with three straight wins after dropping the opener by six to then-No. 2 TCU.