Northwestern in NIT again

Updated: March 13, 2011, 10:54 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Northwestern will be playing postseason basketball again.

The Wildcats were invited to the NIT on Sunday for the third consecutive year. They were given a No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 seed Milwaukee at Welsh-Ryan Arena at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Milwaukee went 19-13 overall and 13-5 in the Horizon League this season. The Panthers reached the conference tournament championship game and lost to Butler.

It's the first time Northwestern's senior class will play a postseason game at home. The Wildcats lost at Tulsa in 2009 and at Rhode Island in 2010 in the NIT's opening round.

"We weren't able to win the Big Ten tournament, so we had no chance at the NCAA tournament," Northwestern senior guard Michael Thompson said. "It's great to continue playing for myself and the seniors. The program is definitely still moving forward and is on the rise. We're still getting recruits, and this is the third year in a row we're making the postseason."

The Wildcats were 18-13 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten this season. They defeated Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday and lost to top-ranked Ohio State in overtime of the quarterfinals.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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