Bracketology 2012: Northwestern On The Outside Looking In

Has Northwestern done enough to get in?

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15 Total Updates since February 13, 2012
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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Still In Jerry Palm's Latest Projection

The general feeling after Northwestern's loss to Minnesota on Thursday afternoon was that the Wildcats probably had their NCAA Tournament hopes dashed. The defeat dropped Northwestern to just 8-11 in Big Ten games and 18-13 overall. But CBS Sports' Jerry Palm isn't so sure -- he still has the Wildcats in the field after that loss, though they have fallen near the end of the line in terms of at-large bids.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Among 1st 4 Teams Out In Joe Lunardi's Latest Projection

In Palm's scenario, a couple of upsets in conference tournaments this weekend by teams that would not otherwise have made the NCAA Tournament could knock the Wildcats right out of the picture.

For updates on Chicago-related March Madness, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub or the bracketology blog Blogging the Bracket.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Among 1st 4 Teams Out In Joe Lunardi's Latest Projection

Northwestern could not deliver a win over Minnesota on Thursday, and that put the Wildcats' NCAA tournament hopes in serious jeopardy. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi updated his NCAA tournament projection on Friday to reflect all of the results on Thursday, and the news is discouraging for Northwestern: the Wildcats are among Lunardi's first four teams left out.

Related: Keep track of the bubble with SB Nation Chicago's full bracketology coverage.

On the positive side, the Wildcats haven't fallen completely off the map after Thursday's defeat, but obviously they no longer have any way to improve their case on the floor. In the latest official RPI standings, updated on Friday, Northwestern checks in at No. 57.

For updates on Chicago-related March Madness, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub or the bracketology blog Blogging the Bracket.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern (Most Likely) Sees Its Bubble Burst

Ah, Northwestern. Poor, poor Northwestern.

By now you know that the Wildcats are the only power conference school never to make the NCAA Tournament. They played their way onto the very edge of the bubble this season, but that bubble may have burst last night when Northwestern fell to Minnesota in overtime in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament.

SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean handles Bracketology for us, and after having Northwestern as one of the last four teams in for weeks, he now has the Wildcats as one of the last four teams out. Sad times.

Northwestern (18-13 8-11 Big Ten, RPI: 47, SOS: 12, non-conf. SOS: 9)
Thursday's loss to Minnesota likely doomed the Wildcats, who own just one Top 50 win (against 10 losses), to the NIT. They likely needed to beat Michigan today anyway, and now they won't even get the chance.

For updates on Chicago-related March Madness, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub or the bracketology blog Blogging the Bracket.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern One Of Last Four In Before Tip-Off Against Minnesota In Big Ten Tournament

It is with no hyperbole that we say this is the biggest day in the history of the Northwestern Wildcats' basketball program. The 'Cats are the only power conference team never to make the NCAA Tournament, and a few good wins and no bad losses this season have put Bill Carmody's team squarely on the bubble.

With Northwestern's pivotal first round matchup with Minnesota looming in just a couple of hours, SB Nation's resident bracketologist Chris Dobbertean has the Wildcats as one of his last four teams in.

Northwestern (18-12, 8-10 Big Ten, RPI: 48, SOS: 13, non-conf. SOS: 9)
To remove all doubt, Northwestern will need to impress in Indianapolis -- first against Minnesota early this evening. Win that and another shot at Michigan, a team that has two narrow wins over the Wildcats, would await in Friday's quarterfinals.

For updates on Chicago-related March Madness, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub or the bracketology blog Blogging the Bracket.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Wildcats Hoping To Earn Bid With Indy Wins

The Northwestern Wildcats may not have played the season they hoped for, ending the year 18-12 and 8-10 in Big Ten play, but they still have a chance to finish it like they wanted. With the Big Ten Basketball Tournament starting this Thursday in Indianapolis, the Wildcats have a chance, according to Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation College Basketball, to catch a spot in the upcoming NCAA championship tournament:

Northwestern (18-12, 8-10 Big Ten, RPI: 48, SOS: 14, non-conf. SOS: 8)
To remove all doubt, Northwestern will need to impress in Indianapolis -- first against Minnesota on Thursday. Win that and another shot at the Wolverines would await in Friday's quarterfinals.

Dobbertean names the Wildcats as one of the last four in teams, meaning they are truly teetering on the bracket's fence, capable of falling in or out based on their performance in the Big Ten tournament.

The Wildcats start the tourney at 4:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, facing the Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-13, 6-12)

For updates on Chicago-related March Madness, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago or drop by the Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub or the bracketology blog Blogging the Bracket.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern's Position Still Tenuous After Win At Iowa

The Northwestern Wildcats held off Iowa on Saturday afternoon and finished the regular season 18-12 overall and 8-10 in Big Ten Conference play. The Iowa game didn't figure to do much for Northwestern's NCAA tournament chances, but it was without question a game the Wildcats could not afford to lose.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Is In By A Hair, Says SB Nation

And according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who updated his bracket projection on Sunday night, the win didn't do much, but it did keep Northwestern in the field of 68 -- Lunardi has the Wildcats among his last four teams in the tournament.

Based on that, Northwestern's Big Ten Tournament opener against Minnesota on Thursday amounts to a must-win game, and the Wildcats would probably need a win on Friday as well to feel somewhat comfortable.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern Is In By A Hair, Says SB Nation

Northwestern's NCAA Tournament chances are coming down to the wire.

By now, you know the story: the Wildcats are the only major conference team never to make the NCAA Tournament, and their performance this season has put them squarely on the bubble. Northwestern lost a heartbreaker this week to Ohio State, and will likely need to win its final regular season game against Iowa and one victory in the Big 10 Tournament to solidify its spot.

As of right now, SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean says the Wildcats are in the field of 68.

Northwestern (17-12, 7-10 Big Ten, RPI: 50, SOS: 10, non-conf. SOS: 12)
If Greg Gumbel fails to read Northwestern's name out on Selection Sunday, the nightmares of Wildcat fans will likely feature a loop of a pair of close losses to Michigan and Wednesday's game-winning bank shot by Ohio State's Jared Sullinger for the foreseeable future. By all rights, the Wildcats should currently be far from the cut line, but results elsewhere see them barely hanging on, thanks primarily to wins over Michigan State and Seton Hall, excellent computer numbers, and an absence of bad losses. (Seriously, very few teams can claim such a spotless mark against teams from outside of the RPI Top 100 this season.) Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that selling point is in real danger. That's because they close the regular season at Iowa -- a team that's already swept Minnesota and Wisconsin -- this Saturday.

For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern In 'By A Finger Nail,' Says ESPN's Joe Lunardi

Northwestern has come painfully close to some real signature wins over the last 10 days -- the Wildcats lost to Michigan in overtime and lost by two points to Ohio State -- but the team was not able to deliver, and its NCAA tournament position has grown more tenuous.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Jerry Palm's Latest Tournament Projection Has Northwestern In Field Of 68

ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers reached out to bracketologist Joe Lunardi for his opinion on the Wildcats:

"I think they’re in by a finger nail," Lunardi said by phone on Thursday. "I mean I could easily make a case to take them out and probably take more effort to keep them in. I just couldn’t with good conscience take them out with not enough teams winning under them in the out group."

The Wildcats close out the regular season against Iowa on Saturday.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Jerry Palm's Latest Tournament Projection Has Northwestern In Field Of 68

The Northwestern Wildcats are close to their first ever NCAA tournament bid, but their situation remains a bit tenuous. In his latest NCAA tournament field projection, CBS's Jerry Palm has Northwestern in the tournament as a No. 11 seed. That places the Wildcats toward the bottom of the list of teams receiving at-large bids, but they also are not among the teams Palm lists as the last four to make the tournament.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Northwestern In Tournament Per USA Today

There is still plenty of time for the Wildcats to further solidify their position, starting with a home game against Ohio State on Wednesday night. They'll also have an opportunity to pick up quality wins in the Big Ten tournament, should they need them.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern In Tournament Per USA Today

The Northwestern Wildcats are teetering on the brink of making the NCAA Tournament.

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Bracketology 2012: Northwestern A 12-Seed In Latest From Jerry Palm

NCAA bracket expert Jerry Palm updated his projections on Tuesday afternoon, and he has good news for the Northwestern Wildcats: they're in the field as a 12-seed. The Wildcats are not listed among Palm's last four in the tournament, which is also good news, but their placement at the 12-seed means their situation is still plenty tenuous at this point.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Michigan State Conquers The Top Line

Beating Minnesota on Saturday helped them, and they can strengthen their case in the next eight days if they can pull off an upset over Michigan or Ohio State.

As for Illinois, Palm sees the Illini's situation as much more dire. Palm has dropped them from his bracket, and they are not listed among the first four teams left out. Bruce Weber and company are going to have to turn things around in a hurry.

Notre Dame's been playing well and likely won't be sweating come selection Sunday -- Palm projects the Irish as a No. 6 seed as of today.

For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more Fighting Irish coverage, visit Notre Dame blog One Foot Down. And for more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Illinois, Northwestern On NCAA Tournament Fringe

It's been a rough month for the Illinois Fighting Illini, who have lost five consecutive games in Big Ten play. Saturday's blowout loss at Nebraska represented a huge blow to the team's NCAA tournament hopes, and in the latest bracket projection from SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean, the Illini are out of the field. But Dobbertean does list Illinois among the last four teams out of the tournament, which means he feels there's a chance Illinois could work its way back in.

Related: Bracketology 2012: Michigan State Conquers The Top Line

ESPN's Joe Lunardi is less forgiving of Illinois' recent play -- the bracketologist does not have the Illinois in the bracket or among his list of the last eight teams left out.

As for Northwestern, both Dobbertean and Lunardi have the Wildcats in the field as of Feb. 20, but their position is far from secure at this point. Dobbertean projects Northwestern as a No. 11 seed, while Lunardi projects the team as a 12-seed and one of the last four in the tournament.

For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more news and notes from around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Could The Big Ten Place Nine Teams?

The Big Ten and Big East figure to be in a battle all the way to Selection Sunday to see which conference will place the most teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Most prognosticators are giving the Big East the edge, but in his most recent Bracketology for SI.com, Andy Glockner gives the current edge to the Big Ten.

Glocker is projecting that nine Big Ten teams will make the Big Dance, which may be of some comfort to Northwestern Wildcats fans. Glockner has Northwestern as one of the last four teams in the tournament, where they would participate in this year's inaugural "First Four" mini-tournament, which in Glockner's bracket means they would take on the Xavier Musketeers. As for the top of the conference, Glockner has the Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes as No. 2 seeds, which seems to be the consensus at the moment after the Spartans knocked the Buckeyes off the top line this past weekend.

The next tier of Big Ten teams is made up of the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan Wolverines, which Glockner tabs as No. 4 seeds in his current projections. Those two are followed by the Wisconsin Badgers— a No. 5 seed— and the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Purdue Boilermakers, which both come in as No. 10 seeds.

One or more of these teams may fall out of the bracket come March, but this rosy projection should lend some comfort to fans of Big Ten teams on the bubble.

For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more news and notes around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.


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Bracketology 2012: Big Ten Projected To Place Eight Teams

The Big Ten is as deep in 2012 as it has been in years, and the conference figures to be one of the big winners come Selection Sunday. But just how much room in the 2012 NCAA Tournament field is there for Big Ten teams? In his most recent edition of Bracketology, SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean puts the number at eight, with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Wolverines leading the way.

Those two teams both clock in as No. 2 seeds, which means for the time being that the Big Ten may be shut out of the top line. Following that, Dobbertean projects the Big Ten to score three teams as No. 4 seeds: the Michigan Wolverines, Wisconsin Badgers and Indiana Hoosiers. Next, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish come in as a No. 7 seed, effectively naming them the Big Ten's fifth strongest team.

From there, it begins to be about the teams that are just hanging on by a thread. The Illinois Fighting Illini, who have lost six of their last seven games, are tabbed as a No. 10 seed, though they are certainly trending downward. The Big Ten's final two teams— the Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers come in as No. 12 seeds— which is usually the absolute final line for major conference teams.

The Northwestern Wildcats, who fell to Purdue this past weekend, are named by Dobbertean as one of the last four teams left out, though they have enough big games left on their schedule to change that.

For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more news and notes around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.

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Bracketology 2012: Illinois, Northwestern, And Notre Dame All Look To Make It

The first session of SB Nation's Bracketology has been released and it has Illinois, Northwestern, and Notre Dame all making the tournament.

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