Another year, another disappointing season for Northwestern fans. However, these three games helped take the sting out of missing the tournament yet again.
First year coach Chris Collins
wasn't expected to take this team to the tournament right away, and he didn't, but that's okay. Wildcat fans and analysts across the country see a lot of potential in his future here. Northwestern may have finished 11th in conference, but there were some bright spots for the team. Here are three of the best silver linings of 2013-14 season:
3. vs. Purdue, Jan. 21: This game was not just about basketball. In the wake of a shooting just hours earlier at the Purdue campus, Northwestern's student section showed support and solidarity with members painting "Stand with Purdue" on their chests. While the meaning of the game seemed less significant that day, the entertainment value was still very high. It took two overtimes and lots of heroics before Crawford's last second block preserved the victory for his team.
2. vs. Iowa, Mar. 13:
lost by 26 to the Hawkeyes during the regular season...twice, but when the B1G Ten Tournament came around Iowa was in a slump and ripe for an upset. NU shot 48% from deep and held a usually potent Hawkeye offense to just 62 points. Unfortunately, the Wildcats didn't turn this win into a run to the BTT championship and tournament berth, but they did provide B1G fans with the only major upset of the conference tourney.
1. at Wisconsin, Jan. 29:
A win in the Kohl Center is a difficult thing to come by if you're not wearing a white jersey with cardinal accents. Only the most die-hard Northwestern fans would have predicted a Wildcat win, but senior leader Drew Crawford
scored 30 points in an upset. It is extremely hard to win on the road in this league, yet surprisingly, NU finished the season with more conference away wins than home wins.