Northwestern’s never been to the NCAA tournament. This year probably won’t be any different.
A 75-68 overtime loss to Minnesota during Thursday’s Big Ten quarterfinals leaves the Wildcats (18-13 overall, 8-10 in Big Ten) firmly on the tournament bubble. That’s a familiar phrase to any Northwestern fan.
Entering Thursday, it likely needed at least another win to bolster its case for an at-large bid. With a 1-50 mark against the RPI top 50 and 5-13 vs. the top 100, this counted as a game the Wildcats needed just to stay in the hunt. Its best wins (Michigan State, Seton Hall) may not be enough to impress the committee.
The Wildcats don’t have anyone to blame, either. Just themselves.
They scored one basket in the final 9:43 on Thursday, the major factor they couldn’t maintain a four-point lead in the final four minutes. That places in the company of other would-be tournament teams who botched their tournament games, which may be their saving grace.
We’ll see in three days.
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