EVANSTON (CBS) — It may not be the NCAA Tournament, but the Wildcats are the last team standing in Chicago. They are on to the third round of the NIT and playing the waiting game right now.

After missing out on the Big Dance, the Wildcats are making the most of their chances. They’re playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time of year.

“It was nice to see everyone contribute the other day,” Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody said. “All the guys played with energy.”

Guard Michael Thompson said the team is playing with a “chip on our shoulder.”

“We are just trying to take advantage of the fact we’re still able to play,” he told CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke.

But Northwestern doesn’t know who they face next. Washington state and Oklahoma state battle Monday, so the Cats have been working double duty scouting both teams.

“We can’t really tell which team we’ll match up with best against so we’ll just watch tonight and see. We’ll figure that out,” said Northwestern Forward Drew Crawford.

The Wildcats are making history. Their win Saturday over Boston College was their 20th this season, only the second time they’ve reached that mark in their school history. And this is the furthest they have gone in any post-season tournament, but they aren’t satisfied yet.

“It’s special but we want to keep this going and keep making history,” said Northwestern guard Alex Marcotullio.

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