Northwestern basketball in the Final Four – for ESPYs Play of the Year

EVANSTON – Their first run in the NCAA Tournament fell short of the National Semifinal in Phoenix, but Northwestern has made at least one Final Four in 2017.

That concerns the ESPY Awards, the annual awards show hosted by the ESPN Network on June 12th. The play that likely sealed their first appearance in the “Big Dance” has earned them this distinction.

The Wildcats’ game-winning full court play against Michigan on March 1st at Welsh-Ryan Arena is one of four finalists for the ESPYs “Play of the Year” – given annually to the most exciting and significant moment from the past sports year.

Tied in the final two seconds of regulation, Nathan Taphorn threw the ball across the court to Dererk Pardon underneath the opposite basket.

The 67-65 victory is arguably one of the greatest finishes in Northwestern basketball history and the moment which the Wildcats all but clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Northwestern will find out if they had the play of the year during the award show on June 12th. The other finalists, selected from an initial group of ten, including Julian Edleman’s tipped fourth quarter catch against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Aaron Rodgers’ pass to Jared Cook that set up a game-winning field goal against the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff, and the final shot that gave Mississippi State a stunning win over UConn in the Women’s Final Four.