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BREAKING: Northwestern secures second NCAA bid in school history, set to play 10-seed Boise State

It’s been a long time coming.

Purdue v Northwestern Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

No, you’re not dreaming. You’re dancing.

On its Selection Sunday show, CBS announced that the Northwestern Wildcats (21-11, 12-8 B1G) have been selected for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017 and the second time in the 85-year history of March Madness. The ‘Cats, a No. 7 seed in the West Region, will head to Sacramento to play the 10th-seeded Boise State Broncos (24-9, 13-5 Mountain West) on Thursday.

As expected, the news was well-received in Evanston. Northwestern hosted a watch party at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday afternoon for the student body, which had a solid turnout despite Finals Week being just hours away.

The selection is a crowning achievement for what has been a magical season for Northwestern, which was predicted to finish 12th in the Big Ten by ESPN at the beginning of the season and ended up finishing second. En route to its NCAA bid, the ‘Cats picked up seven Quad 1 victories, which included two wins over then-top 15 Indiana, as well as upsets over No. 20 Michigan State and No. 1 Purdue. The second victory over the Hoosiers, a 64-62 nail-biter at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Feb. 15, all but assured Northwestern would go dancing.

The Wildcats, who have lost four of their last five games, will look to jumpstart another run against the Broncos on Thursday. Tip-off time is set for 6:35 CT.