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WAIT TILL THIS YEAR?
GEORGE DOHRMANN
December 12, 2011
Northwestern has never been to the NCAA tournament. Harvard has—just once—in 1946, when the field consisted of eight schools. This year, however, after decades of false starts and false hope, both the Wildcats and the Crimson look to have legitimate shots at the Big Dance. How legitimate, though? SI asked Harvard alum Pablo S. Torre and Northwestern's Luke Winn to break down their hapless alma maters' March fortunes
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December 12, 2011

Wait Till This Year?

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HARVARD VS. NORTHWESTERN
Senior forward Keith Wright (44) BEST PLAYER Senior forward John Shurna (24)
Before he was appointed Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama, Arne Duncan co-captained the Crimson. NOTABLE EX-PLAYER Hall of Fame quarterback Otto Graham came to NU on a hoops scholarship and was an All-America swingman in 1944.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer SUPERFAN Fake news pundit Stephen Colbert
Giveaways. An otherwise methodical offense is still making mistakes: The Crimson's 22.6 turnover percentage ranks 228th in the nation. TEAM WEAKNESS Interior defense. The Wildcats lack the brawn to defend powerful post players, and they have allowed opponents to make 52.1% of their shots inside the arc.
Last March, in an epic one-game playoff against Princeton for the Ivy League's automatic bid, Tigers guard Douglas Davis sank a buzzer-beating leaner for a 63--62 KO. CLOSEST NCAA CALL Shurna led the Wildcats to back-to-back 20--14 records in 2009--10 and '10--11, which put Northwestern near the NCAA bubble, but it wasn't really that close.
For a century, some say, the ghost of comically underpaid Harvard hoops coach George Grebenstein (salary in 1907: $75) has haunted Cambridge. In 2007, by no coincidence perhaps, Harvard hired Tommy Amaker (who makes significantly more than $75). NCAA CURSE NU angered the tournament gods by tearing down its original Patten Gym in 1940, one year after the venue played host to the first Final Four (won by Oregon). The school was making room for a new technical institute.
28--2, 13--1 Ivy, NCAA No. 8 seed PROJECTED FINISH 21--11, 9--9 Big Ten, NCAA No. 11 seed

Northwestern has never been to the NCAA tournament. Harvard has—just once—in 1946, when the field consisted of eight schools. This year, however, after decades of false starts and false hope, both the Wildcats and the Crimson look to have legitimate shots at the Big Dance. How legitimate, though? SI asked Harvard alum Pablo S. Torre and Northwestern's Luke Winn to break down their hapless alma maters' March fortunes

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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