Just like in blackjack, hitting 21 is the key to ultimate victory for Northwestern as they travel to Pullman, Washington tomorrow night. By Wildcats
standards this season became a rousing success with their blowout 85-67
win at #1 seed Boston College this past weekend. It gave them win
number 20, tying the school record for wins in a season, set just last
year.They’re the only team from the Chicago area still alive, even if it is
in the consolation bracket that is the NIT. Still,
As much as Coach Bill Carmody has been maligned this year (mostly for not closing out any of the games in which he had ranked Big Ten
opponents on the ropes and failing to reach the NCAA Tournament when
the pieces seemed in place to do so) he certainly must have felt an
injection of vocational capital with the last two wins.
Beating the #2 seed Washington State
Cougars tomorrow night would certainly give Carmody plenty of juice in
Wildcat Alley as the ‘Cats would then advance to New York City for the
NIT Final Four.
A victory by the Wildcats would advance them to their second trip to
Madison Square Garden this season. NU participated in the annual Holiday
Festival around Christmas time, defeating St. Francis (N.Y.) before falling to Lav’s Johnnies.
In the last game, Michael “Juice” Thompson hit six 3-pointers and had
22 points and six assists while John Shurna contributed 20 points and
nine rebounds. It was good to see Shurna looking back like his 100%
healthy, non-conference form as he looks more fully convalescent from
the concussion and ankle injury. Even though Carmody has previously said
that Shurna won’t be fully healthy until May.
Northwestern is 3-2 all-time against Washington State. WSU (21-12, 9-9 Pac-10) advanced to the
quarterfinals with an 74-64 home win over Oklahoma State very late
Monday night. (This game has a very late start too: 10pm CT on ESPN2)
Klay Thompson paced Washington State with 21 points while Brock Motum
NU is making its sixth NIT appearance and its third
consecutive. The Wildcats have a 4-5 all-time record, with previous wins
over Notre Dame and DePaul. This is the deepest they have ever advanced in any postseason tournament.
To quote the Chairman, “it’s up to you- New York, New York!”
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