Northwestern road to the NCAA Tournament might have gotten a little easier.
After No. 23 Maryland downed the Wildcats 74-64 behind star guard Melo Trimble’s 32 points, Northwestern will get back some firepower of its own in top-scoring guard Scottie Lindsey.
Lindsey, who missed the last four games while dealing mononucleosis, will return to the Wildcats lineup Saturday against Rutgers, according to the Chicago Tribune. Northwestern is looking to solidify its claim on the first NCAA Tournament berth in school history in the last five games of its schedule.
Without Lindsey in the lineup, the Wildcats went 1-3. While two of those losses came at the hands of ranked opponents (No. 23 Maryland, No. 16 Purdue), one was to a struggling Illinois team, a blow to Northwestern’s resume.
However the one win was a 66-59 road victory over then-No. 7 Wisconsin. That victory is considered one of the biggest in Wildcats basketball history.
Northwestern closes the regular season with home games against Rutgers, Michigan and Purdue, and road games at Indiana and Illinois. If the Wildcats can win a majority of those games, they’ll be in a prime spot for at least an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
In 22 games this season, Lindsey has averaged 15.4 points while shooting 44.5 percent from the field.