Northwestern ranked 20th in preseason USA Today coaches poll

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Bryant McIntosh
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 18: Bryant McIntosh /

After finishing 6th in the Big Ten last season, Northwestern Men’s basketball will look to make even more noise in the 2017-1018 season.

When Chris Collins took over in 2013, Northwestern basketball had been on a steady decline. Suddenly, they looked to be turning things around. In the program’s 4th season under Collins, they finished 24-12, leading to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That was the first appearance in the collegiate tournament in the programs’ 113 year history. The fact they never had made an appearance seems kind of odd, as they hosted the first ever NCAA tournament in March of 1939.

2016 was a year of surprises for Northwestern basketball, nobody expected Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey to take off like they did. Lead by the two star guards, Northwestern finished Big Ten play with a 10-8 record, including a huge 69-56 win over a Nigel Hayes, and Ethan Happ led Wisconsin team who looked to be on a path towards yet another final four.

More from Da Windy City

With McIntosh, and Lindsey back in tow for yet another season under Chris Collins, we may not have even seen the best Wildcats team yet. Last season, both averaged over 14 points per game, on over 40% shooting. That will be the key to success for Northwestern this season, can they keep it up? Wildcats fans certainly hope so.

The Big Ten basketball conference is arguably one of the best in the entire country, with mainstays Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State all projected to be tough match ups for the Wildcats. Of all those teams, Michigan State is far and above better than the rest, as they have potential number 1 pick in Miles Bridges.

After making their first ever NCAA appearance last season, anything that the Northwestern mens basketball team does will be a success. Fans however will be expecting more, and with this team, they very well could get their wish this season. Could a Sweet 16 really happen? What do you think of Northwestern?