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Chris Collins has Northwestern On The Verge Of History And A First NCAA Bid

At this point, the odds are much more likely that Northwestern makes the NCAA tournament than not.

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NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Wisconsin
Feb 12, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Chris Collins reacts to a call during the game with the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Northwestern defeated Wisconsin 66-59. 
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Duke fans, if they’re at all like us, are watching what former Blue Devil star and assistant Chris Collins is doing at Northwestern with rapt attention and mounting excitement..

If you haven’t been following it, Collins is about to go where no Northwestern man has gone before: the NCAA tournament.

It’s not in outer space but it might as well be.

The Wildcats may have sewn up that bid Sunday night with a win over #7 Wisconsin - at Wisconsin.

Even more impressively, they pulled the win off without leading scorer Scottie Lindsey, who missed his third game with illness.

When Collins took the job, we understood the hometown pull, but Northwestern has buried a lot of coaches, including Tex Winter, who introduced Phil Jackson to the Triangle offense (44-87), former Duke coach Bill Foster (54-141) and Bill Carmody (192-220).

What Collins is doing is pretty amazing and will make his name. And if he can keep doing it, then Northwestern is no longer a dead-end job. It doesn’t even have to be a stepping stone. Collins has a chance to make it a consistent power. Who would have ever believed that?

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