Northwestern doesn't hold back in celebrating first tournament bid

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Now that the field has been set, USA TODAY Sports’ Nicole Auerbach examines the NCAA Tournament bracket and which teams have the best shot at making it to the Final Four.
USA TODAY Sports

EVANSTON, Ill. — For the better part of the hour, Northwestern kept its cool.

The Wildcats knew they were on the verge of history, the first Northwestern team ever to make the NCAA tournament. The only suspense  was where and who they’d be playing.

So as first one, two and then three brackets were announced, the players calmly chatted and joked with each other, playing to the camera whenever the CBS Selection Show cut to them. When “Northwestern” finally flashed on the screen, the Wildcats abandoned all composure.

Screaming and shouting, they leaped out of their seats, not even bothering to wait for who they’d play as the No. 8 seed in the West Region. (It’s Vanderbilt, for the record, on Thursday in Salt Lake City.) Twirling and hopping up and down, they piled together in a group hug while giddy fans gave them a standing…

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