As one era ends, a new one begins for Northwestern

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EVANSTON -- Inside Welsh-Ryan Arena it's not just the end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one for Northwestern basketball.

"It's unbelievable to see the excitement around the campus around this team, to see how the alumni are reacting to 70 years of drought going away," said Northwestern senior Jake Schaefer.

No one would know that better than Mel Schulz, who played for the Wildcats from 1953 to 1957. He and his wife Karen met on the NU campus, and are still sweethearts today.

"Basketball was always respectable but was never real good," Mel Schulz said.

"We've been following this basketball team for many many years, and this year is just the best that we've ever seen," Karen Schulz said.

The Wildcat's Selection Sunday event was to be the last held inside the historic arena before a $110 million renovation. Crews already started removing the wood from the bleachers on the upper level.

"This season, because of how amazing it's been, [with] record after record being broken, all of a sudden you feel real nostalgic about the whole place," said student Jake Schaefer. "I actually have a piece of the bleachers and I'm going to put it on my wall and keep it there for a memento."

Sharing one last memorable moment inside was an experience one dad from Barrington wanted to share with his daughter.

"It's a big day for Northwestern; we'll look back on it as something we did together," John Storms said.

The question now: how far can this Wildcat team go?

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