With Northwestern's Season On The Line, A Senior Would Not Let Them Lose

Aaron MorseCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 12:  Jeremy Nash #23 of the Northwestern Wildcats drives for a shot attempt against Devoe Joseph #5 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Look at Jeremy Nash.

Look at him hit some of the biggest shots of his life.

Look at him snarl at the Illinois Fighting Illini's players as he tenaciously defends them and forces turnovers.

Look at him pound his chest in jubilation after hitting a three-pointer with 5:22 left in the game to put NU ahead for good.

Look at him run around like a maniac after drawing a charge on the other end of the floor.

Look at him score a career high 22 points.

Look at him refuse to let his team lose. 

Without Kevin Coble and Jeff Ryan, Jeremy Nash is Northwestern's lone senior in the rotation.

On Saturday night at Welsh Ryan Arena, he played the best game of his career, and kept Northwestern's NCAA tournament hopes alive and well.

He could not have chosen a better game to unleash the scoring ability that he's been building slowly but surely during his time in Evanston.

Welsh Ryan Arena's atmosphere was the best I've ever witnessed as a NU fan. The Illinois fans were there in force, but they were oddly quiet.

That wasn't the case with the student section, which arrived about an hour before game time, and was rocking from start to finish.

But for one scary time frame in the second half, it appeared Northwestern would fall short against the Illini.

After Nash hit a three-pointer at the 18:27 mark, NU converted exactly two shots from the field until Shurna dunked on a back-door cut with 7:19 to go in the game.

That's not good, but Northwestern's defense held tough and kept them in the game.

The Wildcats cut the lead to one, Nash hit his gigantic three, and the Wildcats never looked back. 

He nailed clutch free throws and contributed a beautiful put-back down the stretch as well.

On a night when both Juice Thompson and John Shurna suffered from early foul trouble, it was the senior who picked up the slack.

Look at Jeremy Nash.

Look at him as he keeps everyone dreaming of March Madness.