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Chicago State did the funniest thing last night

On a night when Louisville lost (again) to a mid major, our favorite Cougars finally beat a Top 25 team.

Chicago State beat Northwestern last night.
Screenshot, H/T No Context College Basketball

Somehow, Louisville losing to Arkansas State (subsequently giving up exactly 75 points for the third straight game) amid the team’s Kenny Pain era wasn’t the best moment for mid-major college basketball teams Wednesday night.

No, it wasn’t UNLV upsetting No. 8 Creighton either, although it is close. Shouts to the Runnin’ Rebels. The distinction goes to everyone’s favorite independent, Chicago State.

The unranked Cougars (No. 335 entering the night in stat daddy KenPom’s rankings) strolled into newly AP ranked No. 25 Northwestern (which two weeks ago beat Purdue!), trailed 61-54 with just around eight minutes left, and came away with an improbable win.

The win probability graph on KenPom is pretty great:

Chicago State had NEVER beaten a top 25 team. Ever. The most recent major success for the team was snagging commitments from former 5-star recruits the Bewley twins, who aren’t even playing because of NCAA eligibility rules.

Let’s run down the recent run for Chicago State for those who need a refresher:

  • Consistently in the 300s in KenPom year over year.
  • 5.1 wins on average per season
  • Was exiled from the WAC of all conferences (don’t worry, the Cougars are NEC bound).

But now, the Cougars have an AP Top 25 win, a resume building one if you may. And, if I may, the Cougars have a HELL of an at-large resume. Courtesy of my Twitter buddy David Peterson, the Cougars have more Quad-1 wins than the following schools: Duke, Michigan State, UCLA, Auburn, Gonzaga, San Diego State, Miami, Texas, and Kentucky.

Ranked the Cougars, cowards. At-large Chicago State is coming.