Northwestern did something Sunday it hadn't done in my entire existence in this world: secure a win over Ohio State in Columbus.

Before Chris Collins' Wildcats pulled out the 74-72 victory, Northwestern had not beaten Ohio State on the road since Feb. 24, 1977 and had lost 12 straight overall to Thad Matta's team.

Since 1977, seven different presidents have taken over the White House. But no commander-in-chief has seen a Northwestern team quite this good during that period.

Three things to know about the reverberations from Northwestern's win.

1. OSU's propensity to turn the ball over was a huge factor.

An inability to hang on to the ball stung the Buckeyes. They turned the ball over 13 times, and while that number is right at its season average of 13.1, what Northwestern did with those was what was especially important.

The Wildcats earned a multitude of extra possessions by converting 17 points on those turnovers. Running out in transition and securing quick buckets on the other end.

Additionally, Ohio State gave up 15 offensive rebounds, which led to 11 second-chance points. Those added possessions in a tight game can, and did, make the difference.

2. Northwestern is getting it done on the road in Big Ten play.

Winning league games on the road is a difficult task in any conference, and the Big Ten is no exception.

Last season, Collins' team was close but not quite ready to closing out some important road games -- a factor that may have cost it an NCAA Tournament appearance last season. That team was still relatively young and inexperienced.

This is basically the same team, just a year older and wiser. And so far they look a whole lot more prepared to win those games they might have lost last season.

Northwestern is 5-2 in league play -- and four of those wins have come on the road by fewer than 10 points.

Last season, Northwestern won just three conference road games and went 2-4 in road games decided by 10 points or fewer. Its biggest weakness last season has turned into a strength. Which leads me to this ...

3. This could be the year Northwestern makes its appearance in the tournament.

While the Wildcats have been close, they have never appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Last season was close: They were 8-10 in the conference and 20-12 overall. It wasn't quite enough.

This season the Wildcats are close to reaching their 2015-16 win total at the halfway point of conference play. Getting a road win at Columbus is a nice first for the program in 40 years. But getting to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history would be sweeter.

Northwestern is 5-2 in Big Ten play -- its best start since 1967-68 -- and returns home for two games starting Thursday against Nebraska.