Sunday, March 13, 2011

The NIT: A chance to win a ring.

I’ll have a preview for NU’s game with Milwaukee up tomorrow night, but I just want to say that I think the best thing to about this (aside from NU’s first postseason home game in 17 years) is the fact that this is a chance for NU’s players to win rings. You can, as was said on the Big Ten Tournament broadcast, win rings in four ways: win the regular season league title, win the league’s tournament title, win the NCAA tournament, or win the NIT (maybe they give CBI or CIT rings too, but you get the point). That means the Wildcats have a legit chance to win a ring and that’s something they should take pride in trying to do because a lot of teams don’t have the same chance. It’s something that I know Juice Thompson will take pride in trying to accomplish and I hope the underclassmen try to play as hard as Juice does in order to give him a shot at ring. I also hope NU fans show up in good numbers to support the Wildcats. To host a postseason game is a rare opportunity for Northwestern and it should be something fans enjoy. There isn’t much time, but I hope the ticket office gets the word out to those NU fans that are football season ticket holders, but not basketball season ticket holders. Attacking that market strongly could help fill Welsh-Ryan up with purple and that’ll hopefully help push NU to an opening round win over the Panthers in what should be a good game. I’m excited and I hope others in Wildcat Nation are as well. This wasn’t what we wanted when the season started, but it’s also better than I thought things might be in the middle of the year. Therefore, I’m looking at this is a positive step for NU basketball right now.


Glenn said...

I think it's clear that they absolutely have to have this game to show some forward progress in the program (a first-round loss in three straight years would be ugly).

I don't know if NU would really win this thing (n.b. I think they give out championship watches, and not rings) but getting to Madison Square Garden for the "final four" is an achievable goal.

David Gaines said...

I would agree with that (re: final four goal). Getting past any of the #1 seeds will be quite a hurdle but, hey, they lost to mighty Ohio State by a combined total of only seven points in two games this year. A couple of key turnovers, a couple of clutch three-pointers, some lucky calls from the refs, you get the point. It's possible.

As for bemoaning the NIT (or the CBI or CIT, for that matter, for those teams that are unhappy about playing in those), that's all overwith now. There's no point in thinking about the big dance anymore because they're not playing in it. Focus on the now. I'm sure that's what Coach C is telling them. I'm one of those people who believes that any postseason tournament is better than staying home watching other people play on TV. Go Cats.