For Northwestern sports, the ‘after’ sure beats the ‘before’ – Chicago Tribune

For decades Northwestern alumni took pride in things like high SAT entry scores, “Saturday Night Live” cast members, two campus beaches, Otto Graham and their “Purple Mafia” media contingent.

Then came the 1995 Rose Bowl season. Gary Barnett took the Purple to Pasadena. Northwestern football would no longer be known for losing Ara Parseghian to Notre Dame or a 34-game losing streak that ended with a “laking” of the goal posts.

And now we have NU basketball, no longer the answer to a trivia question or infamous for a point-shaving scandal.

Chris Collins’ 2016-17 team changed everything. A program with just about zero basketball tradition proved it belonged, beating Vanderbilt and taking a No. 1 seed to the final minute in an NBA arena where Michael Jordan once pushed, launched and posed.


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