Home / Sports / Vandy blunder gives Northwestern first NCAA tourney win, 68-66

Vandy blunder gives Northwestern first NCAA tourney win, 68-66

The jubilation of victory and agony of defeat were on full display in the final moments of Northwestern and Vanderbilt’s first-round NCAA matchup Thursday evening.

Making their first-ever tourney appearance, the No. 8-seeded Wildcats earned a 68-66 win over the No. 9-seeded Commodores before a raucous crowd in Salt Lake City. The win, however, was handed to them by one of the most bone-headed plays in Big Dance history.

Vanderbilt took a one-point lead with 17 seconds remaining after point guard Riley LaChance banked home a layup. But after the ensuing inbounds pass, Vanderbilt leading scorer Matthew Fisher-Davis inexplicably fouled Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh, sending the 86-percent foul shooter to the line. McIntosh sunk both shots to give the Wildcats the lead for good.

Matthew Fisher-Davis (5) walks off the court after Vanderbilt's loss to Northwestern.

Matthew Fisher-Davis (5) walks off the court after Vanderbilt’s loss to Northwestern.

(Rick Bowmer/AP)

Fisher-Davis immediately looked up to the scoreboard after fouling McIntosh and realized his mistake. It’s hard to not feel for the 20-year-old, who has one year of eligibility remaining. The play will certainly live in infamy with the likes of Chris Webber’s timeout in the 1993 title game.

NCAA Tournament: Five things to look for in Thursday’s games

“I actually thought we were down one,” Fisher-Davis said after the game. “Coach … pointed at (McIntosh), but he was just teling me that was my matchup. I took it as (I should) foul.”

The Commodores still had an opportunity to win Thursday’s contest, or at least take the lead, on the next possession. But LaChance fired up a long pull-up three with six seconds remaining that clanged off the back rim, eventually bouncing out of play off a Vanderbilt player.

Northwestern faces Gonzaga in the second round Saturday.

Tags:
march madness
college basketball
vanderbilt commodores
northwestern wildcats

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