WATCH: Northwestern get March Madness started early with Hail Mary winner

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It did not take long for the madness to start in March.

There are still just under two weeks until the start of NCAA basketball tournament - better known as 'March Madness' - but the Northwestern Wildcats commenced the chaos early.

With 1.7 seconds left in Wednesday's game against Michigan and the score tied at 65-65, Northwestern's Nathan Taphorn launched a pinpoint Hail Mary pass the length of the court into the arms of center Dererk Pardon, who made no mistake with the lay-up to secure a 67-65 win.

Wild celebrations ensued as the home fans stormed the court, with the Michigan players only able to look on in desolation.

The victory likely secures a first appearance in the NCAA tournament for Northwestern.

Pardon told the Big Ten Network: "I can't explain how we feel right now. We told ourselves we're going to die before we lose this game."

Head coach Chris Collins added: "To execute the home-run play, for Pardon to finish it, it couldn't be sweeter."