And it came to pass. Northwestern actually won its first game ever in the NCAA post-season tournament. Given that that had never even made the tournament until this year -- the only major college team not to have -- it's not surprising that this was the first win. It only took them 78 years.
Before the game, ESPN was talking to two of their announcers who went to Northwestern -- Michael Wilbon and Rachel Nichols, both dressed in NU gear and at the game (I know of at least three other ESPN announcers are alumni -- J.A. Adande who also teaches there, Kevin Blackistone, and Mike Greenberg). Wilbon said that although he's been a Cubs fan all his life, Northwestern simply getting into the tournament is more exciting to him that the Cubs World Series. As he noted, "I actually paid money to go here -- or at least my parents did." And Nichols added, "And he's paid them a lot more money since." It also helps that he's on on the Board of Trustees for the school.
Winning the game wasn't a sure thing. They lead most of the way. Late in the game they were winning by 15 points. But then Vanderbilt scored 12 points in a row, to cut the margin to three. And with only 1:36 to go, Vanderbilt took the lead -- which then kept changing hands down to the wire, six lead changes in that final minute-and-a-half. Finally, with Vandy up by a point, and only 13 seconds left, one of their players had a brain freeze and not only intentionally fouled a Northwestern player, but their best free throw shooter, Bryant McIntosh. He made both, giving NU the lead by a point which they later increased at the very end to two, and Vanderbilt missed a three-point try at the end.
And Northwestern won their first NCAA tournament gave ever.
Their next game is against Gonzaga. The #1 seed in their bracket. The former #1 team in the country. A team that is 33-1.
That's okay, Northwestern won today after 78 years. We'll take it. Que sera sera.