Northwestern pulls out first NCAA tournament win in first NCAA tournament game

Fisher-Davis bailed out the slow-moving play by fouling the point guard, which resulted in two made free throws.

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.

McIntosh's two free throws with 15 seconds to play against Vanderbilt helped give the Wildcats a 68-66 win Thursday over Bryce Drew's Vanderbilt Commodores in the opening round of the West Regional.

Northwestern coach Chris Collins, center, and players react while watching the broadcast of the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection show, Sunday, March 12, 2017, in Evanston, Ill.

Top star: Bryant McIntosh looked like an All-America, scoring a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Those fans were in a frenzy celebrating after it became clear Northwestern was going to win. How can you not feel a little sick for Fisher-Davis? The foul by Fisher-Davis was inexplicable, and the 3-point prayer by LaChance prevented the Commodores from getting a better shot closer to the rim.

The Wildcats appeared to be in firmly in charge just over six minutes into the second half, after a Nathan Taphorn 3-pointer made it 49-34. "We're not even in that position without him", he said.

  • Larry Hoffman