NU football, men’s basketball in top 25 at same time for first time

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Northwestern is ranked No. 25 in the College Football Playoffs after three-straight overtime wins against Big Ten opponents. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the first time in Northwestern history, both the Wildcats football and men’s basketball teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Northwestern football ranked No. 25 in the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday. The men’s basketball team was ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll last week.

Northwestern is one of five schools currently ranked in both polls. Michigan State is the only other Big Ten school to be ranked in both polls. The Spartans football team is ranked No. 12 in the CFP, and the basketball team is No. 2 in the AP poll.

The football team is coming off of its third overtime victory — the most consecutive overtime victories in FBS history. The Wildcats upset Iowa and No. 16 Michigan State at home in overtime, before defeating Nebraska in extra minutes Saturday.

The basketball team is coming off of a historic season. The Wildcats are returning four starters from a team that played in the school’s first NCAA tournament and reached the second round. The Wildcats won a school-record 24 games and won 10 conference games for the first time since the 1932-33 season. Their fifth-place Big Ten finish was their best since 2003-04.

For the first time in school history, Northwestern’s football and men’s basketball teams are simultaneously ranked in national polls. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

For the first time in school history, Northwestern’s football and men’s basketball teams are simultaneously ranked in national polls. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The two men’s teams are the only Wildcats catching national attention.

The Wildcats women’s soccer team reached the NCAA tournament for a program-record third straight season. Northwestern will play host to Butler at 1 p.m. Sunday at Martin Stadium.

The women’s field hockey team also earned a berth to the NCAA tournament. It’s the program’s 14th tournament bid in school history, and it’ll be their first postseason appearance since 2014. The Wildcats will play Louisville in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Saturday at 1 p.m.

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