After losing 10 straight Big Ten games this season, Northwestern has improbably won three games conference games in a row. That's incredible for this team, given its early-season struggles, but even with their putrid history, it's not all that uncommon for NU teams to win three in a row. Most recently, the team did it in 2012.
However, a fourth straight win has been elusive for this program. So elusive, in fact, that NU has not won four Big Ten games in a row since the 1966-67 season. NU goes for four in a row tonight against Indiana in a tough, but winnable game that could potentially make history.
So as a tribute to NU's historic struggles, here's a look at what was happening at Northwestern and in college basketball 48 years ago when the Wildcats last won four straight conference games.
- College basketball games were actually exciting back then! NU's winning streak included beating Michigan 93-73, Illinois 104-96, Iowa 90-88 and Ohio State 100-77.
- Earlier that season, NU fell to Kentucky 118-116!
- The seniors that season were freshmen when NU was ranked No. 1 nationally in football in 1962.
- Chris Collins was not born yet. He was born eight years later.
- The parents of players on the current team were either not born or were very young (probably).
- Doug Collins was a sophomore at Benton High School in Benton, Illinois.
- At the time of the win streak, the reigning national champion was Texas Western (now UTEP), which made history by integrating southern basketball and using a starting lineup of five black players to beat powerhouse and all-white Kentucky in the national championship game.
- Obviously no Internet sites covered that game, as the Internet was still decades away from being invented. But there were a lot more newspapers, including the Chicago Daily News and Chicago's American.
- Possible freshman ineligibility is in the news today and is very dumb. It was so dumb that the NCAA got rid of it in 1972. However, the freshmen on the 1966-67 NU basketball team were not be able to play. If those rules were in effect today, NU's starting lineup would probably be: Dave Sobolewski, Tre Demps, Nate Taphorn, Sanjay Lumpkin and Alex Olah, with Jeremiah Kreisberg coming off the bench. Would that team win a Big Ten game?
- Evanston's population has actually decreased by 5,000 people since then.
- NU lost 81-79 to Indiana at home that year. Vegas and KenPom both predict a two-point NU loss this year.
- Indiana has been to 32 NCAA tournaments since 1966-67. GUESS HOW MANY NORTHWESTERN HAS BEEN TO I BET YOU'VE NEVER HEARD!
- NU football was still 29 years from its first official season in 1995.
- NU's coach at the time, Larry Glass, was actually very successful by NU standards. He went 7-7 in Big Ten play in 1966-67 and 8-6 the next year. The Wildcats have only gone .500 in conference play once since then, finishing 8-8 in 2003-04.