Northwestern, despite its status as one of the top tier academic programs in the country, has never made it to the Ncaa Tournament. That's a significant accomplishment in the Big 10, which usually sends multiple teams to the Big Dance every season. This season, it looks like that's all going to change thanks to some clutch victories.

Northwestern beats Michigan

Fellow bubble hopeful Michigan was ready to battle Northwestern at Wednesday night. The two teams fought hard, but the Wildcats eventually emerged victorious. Northwestern hit a late layup with time expiring to take the lead and win 67-65.

That late layup will likely solidify the place of Northwestern in the NCAA tournament.

Northwestern's Resume

In a historically weak bubble year, Northwestern resume looks amazing. The Big 10 is much weaker than it has been in years past, but the Wildcats still boast a number of quality wins, including their latest over the Michigan Wolverines. Northwestern also has victories over Wisconsin, Wake Forest, and an impressive one over Dayton. In a weak bubble year, that will guarantee the Wildcats a spot in the NCAA tournament. According to Joe Lunardi, Northwestern would be a nine seed if the field were seeded today.

Could Northwestern do any actual damage in the NCAA tournament?

In their first ever appearance, it's hard to see Northwestern doing anything other than losing.

The Wildcats have zero tournament experience and aren't exactly destroying the Big 10 conference. In fact, the Wildcats have an ugly loss to Illinois at home and another bad loss to an Indiana team that has self imploded. Making it to the tournament will be exciting for this squad, but it will be an early exit for them.

A weak Big 10.

This is one of the weakest years for the Big 10 conference in recent memory. Michigan State is nowhere near the powerhouse it was last season. Indiana, despite being ranked in the top 10 earlier in the season, will not make the tournament. Michigan isn't projected to be a high seed. Despite the struggles of the conference, seven teams are projected to make the NCAA tournament field. It's just hard to see teams, including Northwestern, from such a weak conference doing much this year.