I have a problem with people making definitive statements about sports pretty much all the time, and now is one of those times.
Northwestern has six games left in its season. As of right now, Northwestern is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Some bracketologists have Northwestern in, some have Northwestern out. With six games left, the games are on the schedule that provide NU the opportunity to prove they are worth it or do the opposite. We can go scenario by scenario and debate which ones will allow NU to play and which won't - for the record, I'd say the dividing line is somewhere around 3-3 with a win in the conference tournament, if they don't have a win one of their three wins has to be a major upset to talk tourney - but whatever.
My point is, saying Northwestern's season is over with every loss or that they are in the tourney with every win is not only pointless, it's also wrong. Here, folks, are the predicted outcomes of NU's final six games according to Ken Pomeroy's numbers:
Pomeroy's numbers, which are surprisingly accurate as a predictor, say that NU is so evenly matched with three of its final six opponents that the predicted final result is a one-point game. In a fourth game, the predicted final outcome is two points. While it predicts Northwestern will go 2-4, almost nothing would have to change for NU to go 4-2. Essentially, a highly complex and accurate algorithm with thousands upon thousands of pieces of data is looking over Northwestern's last six games and after all the calculations, can tell us definitively that Northwestern's chances of making the tournament are a toss-up.
This is college basketball in mid-February. Hopefully you haven't become too jaded or indifferent to it after years of not wondering whether Northwestern would make the NCAA Tournament from being too far off the bubble. Maybe the upcoming three weeks will be the most fun in the history of Northwestern basketball. Maybe it'll break our hearts. Either way, it's going to be wild, and I'm really excited to see it unfold.
This is the stretch run. Let's have fun with it, y'all.
Go Cats, etc.