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NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket: Northwestern Wildcats preview

The best-kept secret in the Midwest.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Who? The Wildcats of Northwestern.

When do they play in the first round? The Wildcats play Arkansas on Friday, March 20 at 12 p.m. ET.

What? Like Wildcats come down from Evanston. What would happen if Northwestern's Willie decided to switch places with K-State's Willie?

Where? Evanston, Illinois, one of four places to claim the invention of the ice cream sundae.

Why? It's been a long time coming, but you can't say they don't deserve it.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? We'll never know what the Big Ten thought Northwestern would do, but I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting them to rise to fourth, six games back of Maryland.

RPI: 31

SOS: 54

Record: 12-6 (23-8 Big Ten)

Good wins: At DePaul. Rutgers.

Bad losses: Michigan, both in quality and in agony.

Who's driving this thing? Joe McKeown, since 2008. Long-time head coach at George Washington.

Extra, Extra! The Chicago Tribune.

Sophomore forward Nia Coffey has been the superstar for the Wildcats, at 15.9 points and 8.7 rebounds. Junior guard Maggie Lyon adds 13.9, including 40.1% on threes. Junior forward Lauren Douglas brings offensive punch off the bench. The Wildcats have a well-rounded starting five, and I have absolutely no interest in underestimating Joe McKeown now that he's back in the tournament.