Northwestern fought hard in a game they only had seven scholarship players, almost pulling off a massive upset of No. 13 Ohio State on the road, but their luck dried up after two players fouled out.
In a game I gave Northwestern zero chance of winning thanks to only having seven scholarship players, Northwestern played hard. Northwestern played great. Every single player on the Wildcats outperformed what we expected of them, and they got into a damn dogfight with the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes. The threes were falling - Kale Abrahamson drilled three to start the second half and finished with 13 while Tre Demps was 4-for-6 - and the Wildcats came out in a really intriguing 2-3 zone with a little bit of switching at the top, something I've never, ever seen them play.
And that kept it close. Real close. 30-30 at the half. 48-43 at one point. It just kept creeping on and on, with both sides trading buckets.
And then the whole depth thing happened. First Michael Turner - game of the year, game of his life, four points, eight assists, yeah, eight assists! - fouled out, then Kale Abrahamson, and Northwestern was literally playing with their last five scholarship guys. The wheels came off as Ohio State scored 12 straight, eventually winning 69-59.
But great heart, great battle, and great execution. This team did not give up when anybody could have forgiven them for doing so.