Men’s Basketball: Northwestern clinches second NCAA tournament appearance, will face Boise State in Sacramento


Daily file photo by Seeger Gray

Coach Chris Collins rallies the troops during a timeout. Tasked with making significant improvements in the offseason, Collins delivered a program record 12 Big Ten victories, despite the departure of his 2021-2022 starting frontcourt in the transfer portal.

Jake Epstein, Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern officially punched its ticket to March Madness.

After a regular season capped with soaring heights, the squad received confirmation of its postseason dreams Sunday evening, earning a seven seed in the NCAA Tournament. Players, coaches and fans in attendance of the Selection Show Viewing Party at Welsh Ryan Arena erupted as the team’s historic season was rightly honored with a program record postseason seed.

The Wildcats (21-11, 12-8 Big Ten) head to the Big Dance for just the second time in program history. Their lone appearance came in 2017, when eight-seeded NU defeated No. 9 Vanderbilt but fell in heartbreaking fashion to No. 1 Gonzaga.

Big Ten Coach of the Year Chris Collins and his crew  will face off against 10-seed Boise State on Thursday at 6:35 pm CT in Sacramento. The Broncos (24-9, 13-5 Mountain West) earned an at-large bid after dropping their conference semifinals against Utah State.

Despite their higher seed and star-studded veteran backcourt, the Cats currently sit as 1.5-point underdogs. If NU can pull off a victory, Collins’ crew would face the winner of No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles and No. 15 University of North Carolina-Asheville on Saturday.

Make sure to catch the Cats on truTV Thursday evening, as they vie for their second ever NCAA tournament win in the Golden 1 Center.

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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