Northwestern University Makes NCAA Tournament for 1st Time in Program's History | NBC Chicago

Northwestern University Makes NCAA Tournament for 1st Time in Program's History



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    Head coach Chris Collins of the Northwestern Wildcats directs his team against the Texas Longhorns in the second half of the 2016 Legends Classic at Barclays Center on November 21, 2016.

    After a rollercoaster season that saw them soar to new heights, Northwestern University is finally NCAA tournament bound for the first time in program history.

    Northwestern was given the number eight seed in the West Region, and they will take on Vanderbilt on Thursday in their first round game. The Commodores finished with a 19-15 record during the regular season, and they will take on the Wildcats in Salt Lake City.

    If the Wildcats are able to get past Vanderbilt, their task will likely be a tall one, as they're in line to take on number-one seeded Gonzaga if they prevail.

    The Wildcats posted an impressive 23-11 record during the season, and their 10-8 mark in Big Ten play gave them their first winning record in conference play in nearly 50 years.

    Led by Bryant McIntosh, who scored 14.4 points and dished out 5.2 assists per game this season, the Wildcats had plenty of impressive wins during their historic season. They knocked off 22nd-ranked Texas early in the season, and they scored a huge road win in Big Ten play when they took down seventh-ranked Wisconsin in early February.

    On Sunday, the Division I men's basketball committee selected Northwestern as one of 68 teams taking part in March Madness. The tournament will begin on Tuesday with the first of four play-in games taking place in Dayton, OH.

    The tournament will run through the beginning of April, when the Final Four and national title game take place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

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