On Sunday, Northwestern, now coached by former Duke star and later assistant coach Chris Collins, did something the Wildcats haven’t done in over 40 years: Northwestern won at Ohio State.
Northwestern is now 16-4, 5-2 in the Big Ten, and getting Top 25 votes.
And for the first time ever - not over 100 years as one site claimed since the NCAA Tournament only started in 1939 - Northwestern might make the field.
If Collins & co. pull that off, they’re going to be huge. Not only is it a big deal for the school but it puts the Big Ten in Chicago for the first time, well, almost ever.
Illinois has always recruited well in Chicago but it’s not in Chicago. It’s 135 miles away, which means that if Collins is really building a major program, he’ll be in a great situation with tons of talent just a short drive away.
Soon elite kids will head over to Evanston to play pick-up in the off-season. They’ll be around the team and get the feel of a major program.
Of course none of this has happened yet. Northwestern is promising but still has never gotten anything done in basketball.
It looks like they will soon though and that changes everything for Collins, Northwestern, Chicago recruiting and to an extent, Big Ten basketball, which has never had a successful team in the Windy City before.