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Holy Cross 69, Sacred Heart 64: Three Thoughts

Good news: Sacred Heart was able to secure a home game for its opener Friday night.

Bad news: It was against Bill Carmody and Holy Cross, a veritable nightmare to prepare for in the first hurdle out of the gate, especially on the offensive end, where the Pioneers were sure to see a seemingly indefatigable variation of purple jerseys in front of them, changing with each possession.

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Holy Cross 69, Sacred Heart 60 : Welcome Back, Bill Carmody

WORCESTER, Mass. – The past, of course, is an extremely poor place to live, but if you’re a mid-major fan, particularly the Ivy League, you couldn’t help but root for Bill Carmody at Northwestern. For 12 seasons, he tried mixtures of magic potions and illusions that seemed to rival the Copperfields and Blaines of the world, trying to get the Wildcats to their first ever NCAA Tournament (one of five with St. Francis Brooklyn, Army, The Citadel, and William & Mary who have been a Division I institution since the beginning in 1939 and never gone to the NCAAs).

While it was tough sledding, Carmody always had an upset or three in him, and from 2010-2012, looked to have gotten over the hump. In each of those three seasons, Northwestern ranked in the top 30 nationally in offensive efficiency, with a deliberate style that almost never turned the ball over, and seemed to miss shots even less (as he did at Princeton while going 92-25 in Ivy games from 1996-2000). He won 20 games in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but just fell short of the NCAA bubble. The Wildcats started 10-1 in 2011-12, but finished 8-10 in the Big Ten, the last two losses coming in overtime to ranked Michigan and by a pair to Ohio State, who eventually ended up in the Final Four. The verdict, once again, was NIT.

Soon after that (two seasons later), Carmody’s sleeves were out of tricks and he was fired.

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