EVANSTON — There’s nothing quite like Selection Sunday.
No matter how sure you are of your team’s spot in the NCAA Tournament, each time a team is called that’s not your own adds a little more doubt to your mind.
With just one region left, “Northwestern” still hadn’t been heard. Surely the Wildcats were in. Surely this team would break the curse. Right?
Or could it be that the “bracketologists” got it wrong, that there was some overlooked hole in Northwestern’s seemingly strong resume?
But when CBS’s Greg Gumbel said, “And the No. 8 seed...” Welsh-Ryan Arena erupted with the force of 78 years of history.
Still no one heard “Northwestern.”
But it didn’t matter. History was written. This team had done it, even if it did come with unwelcome drama.
I documented the day as a photographer, doing my best to capture the emotion that unfolded. Here are 22 of the over 900 images I made Sunday:
- Northwestern assistant coach Armon Gates bounds on to Welsh-Ryan Arena as he’s introduced. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Scottie Lindsey shows off some dance moves as the Welsh-Ryan Arena crowd welcomes him. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Sanjay Lumpkin throws up the team’s patented celebration. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern fans give head coach Chris Collins an ovation ahead of the Selection Sunday show. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- The Northwestern men’s basketball team was all smiles as it was introduced to the nation on CBS. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- With every non-Northwestern team called, students grew more and more uneasy. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- As the show wore on, the team’s nerves mounted. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- A few close-calls and surprising placements (Wisconsin as the No. 8 seed in the East region) garnered animated reactions from Chris Collins and co. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Pandemonium. Complete pandemonium. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Bryant McIntosh leaps into the air to celebrate Northwestern’s selection as the No. 8 seed in the West. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- No better way to celebrate than with a selfie. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Dererk Pardon uses his 7-foot-3 wingspan for more than rebounding and blocking shots. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Assistant coach Brian James leaps into the arms of Sanjay Lumpkin. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- The players lock arms as they watch a video tribute. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern students celebrate their team making its first-ever NCAA Tournament. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Alumni, fans and donors look on emotionally as many thought this day might not ever come. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro addressed the crowd following the team’s selection. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- After the celebration, head coach Chris Collins and guard Bryant McIntosh became emotional listening to University President Morton Schapiro speak. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern head coach Chris Collins stands up to speak as his players encourage him. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern head coach Chris Collins embraces Athletic Director Jim Phillips. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- Northwestern head coach Chris Collins speaks to the crowd at Welsh-Ryan Arena, recounting the program’s progression over his four years in Evanston. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU
- A Northwestern cheerleader is all smiles as the Selection Sunday ceremonies come to a close. Josh Rosenblat/InsideNU