As you may be well aware, the Northwestern Wildcats have never, ever, ever made it to the NCAA Tournament. It’s one of the most infamous streaks of futility in college athletics, but if the Cubs can win the World Series than anything in sports is possible. And in the most dramatic way possible, tonight’s victory over Michigan may have just proven that to be true even in the case of the Wildcats.

While looking like a lock for most of the season, Northwestern has struggled in finalizing their at-large bid as of late. After starting 18-4, the Wildcats had gone 2-5 in their last 7 games before Wednesday night’s home encounter with the Michigan Wolverines.

Overtime looked to be a certainty with Northwestern inbounding the ball on their own baseline with just 1.7 seconds remaining. And yet, somehow Nathan Taphorn found Dererk Pardon with the Hail Mary pass and the game-winning layup as time expired.

Northwestern now sits at 21-9 with the victory and a home date against Purdue to end the regular season. Tonight’s win was hugely important to not only stop their poor run of form as of late, but it may have just gotten them over the hump in the eyes of the committee. At the very least, alum, fans and observers were putting them in the tournament tonight.

Even if the Wildcats fall to Purdue and if they drop out of the Big Ten tournament early on, tonight’s win should have done the job in earning the school their first ever tournament berth. And hopefully for Northwestern fans those tweets don’t show up on Freezing Cold Takes later this month.

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