Northwestern gets their signature win by knocking off No. 7 Wisconsin

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MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 12: Vic Law #4 of the Northwestern Wildcats shoots over Vitto Brown #30 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half of a game at the Kohl Center on February 12, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

MADISON – Just when you thought hopes for their first chance to take part in the “Big Dance” were a bit on the bubble, Northwestern burst back onto the headlines again.

This time, they took down the top team in the Big Ten.

Even with a two-game losing streak coming in and their third-consecutive contest without leading scorer Scottie Lindsey, the Wildcats got it done in one of the conference’s toughest venues.

Chris Collins’ team made a nine-point halftime lead hold up in a 66-59 victory over seventh-ranked Wisconsin. It’s their biggest win of the season and adds a major positive mark to their growing NCAA Tournament resume.

Taking over the top scoring role for Lindsey, Bryant McIntosh led the way with 25 points on the evening. Fourteen of those came in the second half as Northwestern held the Badgers in check to improve to 8-4 in Big Ten play.

With the win, the Wildcats become the first team this season to defeat Wisconsin in the Kohl Center. The Badgers’ last loss in Madison was against third-ranked Maryland on January 9, 2016.

That record is good enough to put the Wildcats alone in fourth place in the Big Ten, a full game ahead of Michigan State. Right now the Wildcats are just a game behind Maryland and Purdue for second place in the Big Ten.

Northwestern started their path to an upset during a 16-0 run in the final seven minutes of the half that turned a seven-point deficit into a nine point lead. Vic Law (11 points) and Nathan Taphorn each hit a pair of three-pointers to fuel the run.

Wisconsin responded with a 10-0 run to open up the second half to take a one-point lead, but it was short-lived. The Wildcats responded with eight-straight points of their own, capped by a dunk by Dererk Pardon (11 Points) which put them back in the lead for good.

McIntosh’s jumper with 9:27 to go pushed the lead back up to nine and Northwestern never looked back in their biggest win in what continues to look like a historic run to March.