Every March it seems like another program jumps into the national spotlight, while Northwestern sits at home like the rest of us. Make no mistake, the heat is on in Evanston. If there wasn't enough pressure on Athletic Director Jim Phillips to find the right coach, there is now. The Wildcats have to find a way.
The argument about academic restrictions? It's real, but Harvard has been to the NCAA tournament the last two years. They even have a tourney win under their belt. Princeton has been there too. Let's face it, Duke isn't exactly summer school. Books and basketball can mix.
Maybe the Big Ten is just too tough for the 'Cats? Valparaiso has been to the NCAA tournament eight times, while Northwestern still searches for their first bid. A smaller conference with an automatic bid would help, but then Northwestern loses the recruiting advantage of being a Big Ten school and playing on their own TV Network.
It's much more difficult to compete in football where you have to find more than 75 quality student athletes. Basketball programs can change with just a handful of key recruits. Northwestern is a factor on the gridiron. Now, they need to find their "Pat Fitzgerald" on the hardwood.
We will hear all the popular names, and maybe the right man is on that list. Chris Collins, Bryce Drew, Tommy Amaker, John Giannini?
Make the right choice and let madness of March do the rest.