By Lauren Victory

(CBS) The Big Dance is less than 48 hours away for the Nothwestern men’s basketball team, but the historic game comes at an inconvenient time for the Wildcats.

“I have two papers that I am writing,” sophomore Grady Jensen tells CBS 2’s Lauren Victory.

The race to spring break is on, but Northwestern’s quarter system means exams are also interfering with excitement about Thursday’s tip-off between Northwestern and Vanderbilt in Utah.

Students never had to worry about something like that before. Now, stress and strategy are at all-time high.

“I’m going to be studying really hard today and tomorrow and that way Thursday I can just enjoy the game,” freshman Victoria Blaga says.

[graphiq id=”gTKNGawOY05″ title=”March Madness Bracket Preview (2017)” width=”600″ height=”917″ url=”″ link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

The team might have to test on the road, too. Athletes, band members and the spirit squad will have to work it out with professors, administrators say.

“Nerd-esterners” say a shot to watch history 78 years in the making is worth the cram sessions.

“I’ve definitely started trying to study for the final Friday,” freshman Beth Parcell says. “Honestly, I’ll take the ‘L’ on the test if boys get the ‘W.’”

Northwestern is working on finalizing official NCAA watch parties for their Evanston and Chicago campuses.