Cardiac 'Cats Fall Short

The most successful season in Northwestern basketball history is over, after a 69-66 overtime loss to Washington State in the National Invitational Tournament quarterfinals.

Northwestern finishes the season with 20 wins and their deepest postseason run, but they fell just short of advancing to the NIT Final Four.

The Wildcats were lucky to get to the overtime period. After John Shurna's layup attempt was called for goaltending, the Cougars had one last chance to win the game. With seconds ticking away, Abe Lodwick was fouled on a shot with 0.2 left on the clock. With a chance to win the game, Lodwick missed both free throws, and the score remained tied at 64, forcing overtime.

Northwestern got a major second chance with an overtime period, but the Cardiac ‘Cats could not pull it off.

With time winding down in overtime, and Washington State up by three points, Northwestern had two chances to tie the score. Alex Marcotullio missed a long three-pointer, but John Shurna threw back the loose ball to Marcotullio for one last chance, but his tightly-contested three-pointer just missed. An exhausted Wildcat team fell to the floor know their season had ended.

In what would be his last collegiate game, Michael Thompson led all scorers with 18 points, while carrying his team through the second half and into the overtime period. Alex Marcotullio contributed with 16 points, while Drew Crawford added 14 points.

For the Cougars, junior forward Klay Thompson finished with a team-high 17 points, while the Cougars had four other scorers in double-figures.

The thing that killed Northwestern was three-point shooting, something which had carried the team throughout the entire season. The Wildcats finished shooting 10-39 from beyond the arc, with John Shurna and Juice Thompson finishing with a combined 5-23 from three-point land.

The loss brings an end to Northwestern's historic season, a season of so many what-ifs. The Wildcats' loss to Washington State was their third overtime loss fifth loss by six points or fewer.

The loss also brings an end to the historic season of Michael ‘Juice' Thompson, one of the most decorated players in Northwestern basketball history. Thompson finishes his career in purple with 1,689 points, placing himself third in Northwestern's all-time scoring list.

A win on Wednesday would've broken Northwestern's single-season win record with 21 wins. In addition, a win would've sent the ‘Cats to New York City for the NIT final four, which would've been the first time in program history. But after a tough effort, the Cardiac ‘Cats fell short.

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