Feed the Post: Basketball Season GIF Review

WNUR Sports Online Content Director Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger) tells the story of the 2013-2014 Northwestern men’s basketball team.

Okay, okay, the season isn’t over yet. But with game #30 of the season coming up tomorrow, we have more than enough content to look back on to fondly tell the story of the 2013-2014 season. Since everything is better with GIFs, I found a lot of GIFs to do the trick.

Before the season
High five
No one expected earth-shattering results from Northwestern. Still, there was a definite buzz surrounding Coach Collins’s debut. The ‘Cats smashed EIU 72-55 in the season opener. JerShon Cobb and Drew Crawford were back. Life was good.

November 17: Illinois State 68, Northwestern 64
Following a road loss to Stanford, Northwestern fell at home to Illinois State in a game that foreshadowed how much the ‘Cats would be lacking on offense at times this season. Illinois State isn’t a terrible team, it’s just that these aren’t the kinds of games Big Ten teams lose.

December 4: NC State 69, Northwestern 48
This loss was the team’s third straight and dropped the ‘Cats to 4-5 on the season. Yes, all of those losses were to major-conference schools, but the games against UCLA and NC State were never that close. There were times it was just hard to watch. Unfortunately, with the football season over and no bowl to watch, we pressed on.

End of non-conference play
Setting aside a heartbreaking 57-56 home loss to Depaul (I had blocked that one from my memory for a while), Northwestern took care of business with wins against Western Michigan, MVSU and Brown. The ‘Cats finished non-conference with a 7-6 mark. Given the tough schedule, this wasn’t too bad, but it was far from ideal.

Start of conference play
Brady facepalm
Welp. Pick a loss. 76-49 to Wisconsin. 74-51 to Michigan. 93-67 to Iowa. As those scores indicate, the ‘Cats simply couldn’t keep up with the Big Ten’s upper-level teams at the start of conference play.

January 12: Northwestern 49, Illinois 43
new threads
Sporting some special gray uniforms, the Wildcats took the court at Welsh-Ryan Arena against their in-state rivals (who were ranked no. 23 at the time!) and scrapped their way to a win. Allegedly the team rededicated itself to defense after the Iowa loss. While some might wonder where the focus was before the game, the win was huge in righting the ship.

January 18- February 1
After a loss at home to no. 4 Michigan State, the ‘Cats won 4 of their next 5, with the loss coming at home to no. 10 Iowa. What was far more significant was the fact that it included Northwestern’s first three game road winning streak in the Big Ten in a really long time. The highlight was a 65-56 win at no. 14 Wisconsin, Northwestern’s first win ever at Madison’s Kohl Center. Oh yeah, Drew Crawford had 30 points in that game. That was pretty sweet, too.

February 8: Nebraska 53, Northwestern 49
No laughing
And suddenly the fun times stopped. After the ‘Cats had climbed as high as 4th in the Big Ten, they had a week off then lost a close one at home. There was no way to know it at the time, but wins would become scarce again.

February 13-19
Cold weather continued to blast the Midwest, burying ‘Cats fans in snow. Coincidentally, Northwestern’s offense went cold and the usually-clutch Tre Demps and Drew Crawford combo couldn’t bury shots on the same days (except at Ohio State, where no one else on the team scored more than 8).

February 22- today
Not fair
Before the 61-56 loss to Indiana, it was announced that JerShon Cobb would miss some time with a foot injury. We later found out he would miss the remainder of the season. The injury to Northwestern’s second leading scorer meant more shots for Drew Crawford and a Dave Sobolewski return to the starting lineup. The ‘Cats still haven’t won since February 1st.

Remainder of the season
There are two regular season games left in this rollercoaster ride. The ‘Cats host Penn State tomorrow and travel to Purdue for a Sunday game. Earlierin the season, these games appeared winnable. Now, I don’t know. The ‘Cats are 12-17 and the Big Ten Tournament looms ahead next week. With the way this season has been up and down, I believe the team has one more “up” left in store for fans. Who knows what that could mean? No one ever said college sports weren’t dramatic. This basketball season is just another example.

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