All good things must come to an end. The Northwestern basketball season is over, losing 79-73 to #1 seed Gonzaga. But hat's off to the season, the most wins ever by a Northwestern team -- 24 -- and their first-ever invitation to the NCAA post-season tournament. And hat's off to the game.
NU was outclassed in the first half. Down a pathetic 41-20, their lowest halftime total all season, and at one point they were down by 21. But then they scored a tremendous 53 points in the second half -- and even cut the margin to just 5 points. In fact, it should have been closer. There was a critical turnaround of four points when the referees missed that the Gonzaga player put his arm through the basket, which is illegal and should have been two points for goaltending to Northwestern -- and the NU coach Chris Collins was so incensed that he got a technical foul called on him. Gonzaga made the two bonus free throws, so that was a four-point swing. Alas. But that's life, it happens.
(How egregious was the missed call? After the game, even the NCAA felt it had to release a statement of apology. It began, "With 4:57 remaining, the officials missed a rules violation when a Gonzaga defender put his arm through the rim to block a shot.” As the Chicago Sun-Times noted, dripping with sarcasm, "Really? Who knew?")
Still, great season.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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