Northwestern Basketball on Verge of Ending Long NCAA Tournament Drought
Northwestern has never been to the NCAA Tournament, but that might have changed on Wednesday with one fateful Hail Mary toss that set up a buzzer-beating layup for the Wildcats to seal a 67-65 win over MI. "You do everything you can, but it was flawless, a ideal throw".
Wake Forest is trying to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. The Wildcats had dropped five of seven and maybe were feeling some pressure, something their coach urged them to embrace after losing to IN on Saturday. The Wolverines have won five of their last six games and are peaking at the right time as they look to continue their recent dominance of Northwestern by beating the Wildcats for the 10th time in their last 11 meetings.
Northwestern had missed a shot with 12 seconds left, giving MI a chance to play for the win and perhaps deal another huge blow to the Wildcats' long-awaited tourney hopes.
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Year after year, Northwestern has found a way to miss out on a tournament that is getting easier and easier to make. Junior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Irvin had 13 and 12 points, respectively, while sophomore Moritz Wagner added eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Michigan's defense forced Northwestern into 10 turnovers and scored 10 points off those miscues. He's 3 for 19 from 3-point range over the past three games, and he's down to 33.5 percent from long distance on the season - not a great figure for the player who leads the Terrapins in attempts from beyond the arc. MI has won five of six, losing only at Minnesota in controversial fashion in that stretch, and has an opportunity to pick up a critical road win tonight.
Taphorn needed to do one thing: his best Trevor Siemian impression and get the ball to Derek Pardon on the other end of the court. It was a risky call because MI would have had a chance to win had the pass sailed long.
Though they had been coming on strong, the Wolverines saw their NCAA hopes take a hit with this loss. "Anybody that saw that game tonight - those are two great teams", Beilein said. For the Iowa women's basketball team, though, the new month brings a whole new meaning in that it is the beginning of tournament season. "But that's up to them". With a chance to beat Purdue at home in their season finale, their eventual seed in the NCAA Tournament could improve. The Wildcats will play next year at Allstate Arena in Rosemont while their facility undergoes a $110 million renovation.
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Mar 01 2017