Northwestern made its first NCAA Tournament appearance memorable, beating Vanderbilt 68-66 on Thursday afternoon at Vivint Arena in a game that featured six lead changes in the final 1:36.
After leading by seven at the half, Northwestern struggled a bit in the second half as the Commodores' three-point shooting got them back in the game. That's when Vanderbilt's Matthew Fisher-Davis had a brain cramp at the worst possible moment.
Northwestern hit both free throws and took the lead, throwing Fisher-Davis in line with Chris Webber for devastating mental letdowns in the NCAA tournament.
After all this time, after years, decades - generations? - of playing catchup, Northwestern finally got to the NCAA Tournament and nearly never trailed in Thursday's first round against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats owned a 32-20 edge in points in the paint.More news: Japan agrees with USA that North Korea's weapons 'not permissible'
Riley LaChance then missed a three for Vanderbilt, and the Wildcats clinched their first NCAA tournament win after Vanderbilt's desperation heave didn't fall.
On the season, Vanderbilt basketball is averaging 71.3 points, 34.6 rebounds and 13.0 assists per game.
Dererk Pardon and Scottie Lindsey each added 14 points for the Wildcats.