The 2014-15 athletic year has all but come to a close, and that can only mean one thing: end-of-year awards. Beginning Monday, June 1, Inside NU will be handing out seven different awards to celebrate the top players, coaches and games of the year in Northwestern sports.
However, it's not just our decision; it's also yours. Today, Monday, May 25, we are releasing the nominees for all seven awards. At the bottom of each page is a poll, and that's where you can make your vote count. Voting will be open for a week, and will close at 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Winners will be announced the following week. Without further ado...
One aspect of Northwestern sports that's always a given--no, not men's basketball NCAA Tournament appearances--is that many games will be close, often unnecessarily so. This undoubtedly leads to exciting finishes and record-breaking performances, many of which the Wildcats were involved in. Honestly, it feels like every team at NU has been involved in at least one or two crazy games which were either vital for standings purposes, shocking, endless or just plain crazy.
Women's Basketball vs. Iowa - On Jan. 29 at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the then-No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes were expecting a pretty easy win over the injury-plagued Wildcats. What they got instead was a 102-99 nail-biter that involved a NCAA-record combined 32 made three-pointers. Iowa, with 19 triples, set a conference record on a day more than 200 total points were scored in 40 minutes.
Men's Basketball vs. Michigan - NU men's basketball had some tight finishes in 2014-15. However, none were as exciting as the Wildcats' double overtime 82-78 win over Michigan at Welsh-Ryan back in March. It took not one but two Tre Demps' game-extending threes (one at the end of regulation, the other at the end of the first extra period), plus some more improbable occurrences, to lead the way to an eventual Northwestern triumph. After the game, our Henry Bushnell tried to put the entire night into words.
Football at Notre Dame - If you're a fan of Northwestern sports, there's approximately a 0 percent chance you don't know the story of this game. The Wildcats went in as an 18-point underdog, but after countless unexpected twists and turns, came out with an unbelievable 43-40 overtime victory. Jack Mitchell's game-winning field goal was surely the moment of the year in Northwestern sports, and set off wild celebrations. In fact, recently, we just had to come up with some sort of excuse to recall our memories from that day.
Lacrosse vs. Penn - Northwestern led this game 5-1 and 6-2, but a stunning Penn comeback took the game to overtime. With just 13 seconds remaining in OT though, after mistakes and missed opportunities on both sides, Northwestern junior Kaleigh Craig stepped up and won the game for the Wildcats.
Josh Burton: There's nothing like the good ol' underdog story in sports. Northwestern was the David and Notre Dame was the Goliath, and David won, even if it only served as a small break during another trying season. I'm going with the Notre Dame game.
Henry Bushnell: I too was at the Michigan game, and it was incredible... but the Notre Dame game gets my vote, and it's not close.
Josh Rosenblat: Notre Dame-Northwestern will go down as one of the greatest games in Northwestern football history. It's not often the Wildcats secure a win like that in that fashion.
Kevin Dukovic: The Michigan-Northwestern thriller had probably the best comeback I've ever witnessed in person. But it didn't matter as much as the Notre Dame win. The ND game saved Northwestern's season from being a complete disappointment and gave NU fans something to brag about.
Voting has ended. Check back throughout the week, as we'll be announcing winners Tuesday through Friday.