Was Michigan the make it or break it game for Northwestern? And since the Wildcats lost in overtime (the second time this season the Wildcats lost to Michigan in OT), did they ruin their chances to get into the NCAA tournament?
"I don't feel [deflated]," coach Bill Carmody said. "They know history, they know what has come before them. But they also know they've done pretty well here.
"I think the selection committee -- and I don't like talking about this because we're 6-9 -- but I think the Big Ten tournament [is] important. They see you on TV. A run now is really important and it will help us. I think you still need to win a bunch of games."
Unless NU wins the Big Ten tournament outright in two weeks in Indianapolis, nothing is secure. And with all the hype surrounding that game with the Wolverines -- some called it the biggest game in the program's history -- there should be some emotional letdown, shouldn't there? Is there a chance the Wildcat go into Penn State Saturday a little deflated?
"It was really emotional and a tough loss to handle, but like all losses we have to move on from it and we have to move on from it now," forward Drew Crawford said. "I think we still have a great chance to finish the year strong. We know the importance [of the last three games]. I know that the only thing we can do is win every game."
NU is at Penn State Saturday and comes home to host Ohio State Wednesday before ending the season March 3 in Iowa.