Hoping to blow its remaining regular season games, the Northwestern men’s basketball team is coming ever-so-close to clinching a coveted No. 1 seed in the National Invitational Tournament.

After losing to Ohio State by three points Wednesday night, the Wildcats moved one step closer to being blown off the NCAA tournament bubble and landing softly into a cushy No. 1 spot atop the heap of teams deemed not worthy of qualifying for the “Big Dance.”

“I really thought that soul-crushing, overtime defeat to Michigan a while back would seal the deal,” said Northwestern coach Bill Carmody. “But ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still says we’re among the last four teams to make the NCAA. No worries. We can still choke at Iowa, and of course, we’re guaranteed a loss in the Big Ten tournament. I just hope it comes in the first round.”

The program is one of only four Division I programs in the country to never have made the NCAA tournament. However, senior guard, John Shurna, dismissed the notion that he’d be heartbroken to not be part of the field of 68.

“There are certain traditions in college hoops,” explained Shurna. “For example, we all know that John Calipari pays recruits to play for him. Likewise, I want fans to know they can always count on us not making the NCAA tournament.”

Shurna explained that he hopes for a No. 1 seed in the NIT.

“A No. 1 seed guarantees we’ll be playing against a team like Indiana-Purdue of Fort Wayne,” said Shurna. “It would be a dream to choke to them!”

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