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Northwestern Loves Playing Purple


Tonight - like, way, way, tonight, like, over 13 hours from now, go back to sleep, unless you have a job, in which case don't - Northwestern plays Washington in its second-round NIT matchup. It's a confusing call for the sporting sartorialist: while it's typically easy to identify yourself as a Northwestern fan - hey, I'm wearing purple - both squads fall somewhere in between "indigo" and "violet" on that weird part of the Roy G. Biv scale that would've made more sense if it just said "Roy G-P" because no seven-year-old knows what indigo and violet are.

So, remembering Northwestern's victory over LSU earlier in the year, I became curious as to the last time Northwestern lost to a purple opponent. After all, there aren't many teams that voluntarily choose to wear purple.

What I found was that despite a decade primarily associated with losing, Northwestern has reeled off quite a streak against our Grimace-tinged pals. Enjoy this journey into one of the least interesting basketball factoids of all time.

Nov. 17, 2011: Northwestern, 88, LSU Tigers, 82 - you may remember this fun Charleston Classic affair, where John Shurna set the tone for his record-setting year by putting up 37.

Nov. 16, 2008: Northwestern, 81, Central Arkansas Bears, 39 - the first NU basketball game I ever attended! The home-opener my freshman year, it was me and like 12 other students, and me being mislead into thinking Northwestern frequently won games by 42 - I just checked the boxscore, and it's a real "AND YOU GET A CAR!" moment - Jeff Ryan, Ivan Peljusic and Mike Capocci combined for 24, Peljusic and Davide Curletti both drained threes.

Dec. 31, 2006: Northwestern, 86, Northwestern State Demons, 59: What do you remember about New Year's, 2007? Hopefully not this Northwestern-Northwestern State matchup, a battle for supremacy in all things to the north and west. Tim Doyle had a musta-been-a-career-high nine assists.

Nov. 19, 2004: Northwestern, 56, Portland Pilots, 53: T.J. Parker hit a game-winning three to put NU off to a 1-0 start on the season with a win in the "Top of the World Classic" in Fairbanks, Alaska. Sarah Palin was unheard from.

Nov. 29, 2003: Northwestern 69, Northwestern State Demons, 63: DON'T YOU KNOW WE ARE THE MOST NORTH AND WEST, NORTHWESTERN STATE? Give us your purple. This is when ESPN's box scores start being shakier on information.

Nov. 30, 2002: Northwestern, 59, Kansas State Wildcats, 55: Yes, in 2002, a Northwestern team that would win three conference games went into Manhattan and beat those other purple-colored Wildcats. This happened.

Dec. 8, 2001: Northwestern, 79, Kansas State Wildcats, 56: Yes, in 2001, Northwestern beat Kansas State by 23.

And there the streak ends, as Northwestern lost to East Carolina on Nov. 15, 2001 in some tournament in Raleigh. But you know what they say: two's luck, three's a trend, and seven is a bunch of angry nerds yelling "THEY TOOK OUR COLOR! THEY TOOK IT FROM US!" Northwestern has won its last seven games against purple squads in a streak lasting over ten years. Will Northwestern keep it going tonight? Probably not, now that I've pointed it out.