No stunner: NU falls from rankings

The Wildcats' stay in the Top 25 was short-lived. One week after being tabbed the No. 25 team in the nation -- Northwestern's first jaunt into the AP Top 25 since 1969 -- NU is neither ranked nor receiving votes. There are, however, a few nuggets of good news...

No surprise here. After back-to-back losses, Northwestern's stint in the AP Top 25 was short-lived.

The Wildcats cracked the poll last week for the first time since 1969. They were ranked No. 25 after a steady four-week increase in votes-received.

But after an 89-83 loss to Illinois and a 21-point defeat to Michigan State, the Cats received zero votes in either the AP or ESPN/USA Today polls. NU is now 10-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

On the bright side -- and there is a bright side -- John Shurna was named the Big Ten Player of the Week. Shurna averaged 28.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the Cats' two losses. Also having won the award the week of Nov. 30, Shurna became the first Wildcat to win the award twice in one season since Evan Eschmeyer did it back in 1998-99. Eschemeyer won the award three times that season.

Shurna is averaging 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season -- both of which rank third in the Big Ten.

Along with Shurna's award, another bit of good news is that Northwestern's next contest is against Texas-Pan American, which is a woeful 1-14. The Cats, who host TPA Thursday, then travel to Michigan on Sunday.

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