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NCAA West Region: #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #8 Northwestern Wildcats
March 28 2017, 02:23 | Van Peters
Northwestern 'enjoying the ride' in 1st NCAA Tournament experience
Thursday's most memorable game was Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt, which was won on a foul that never should have been committed. But, alas, it wasn't to be.
Northwestern's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, 68-66 over Vanderbilt, came after Commodores guard Matthew Fisher-Davis inexplicably grabbed Bryant McIntosh of the Wildcats on goal, sending McIntosh to the free throw line for the go-ahead points with 14.6 seconds left.
Vanderbilt guard Matthew Fisher-Davis carried the Commodores all game as they rallied against Northwestern. And I was kind of, 'Wait, are we up one?' So I was looking at the score and making sure I felt that we were in the right position.
You do not, presumably, dream about winning like that-taking a giant lead in the second half, bursting with confidence, watching that lead disappear, and then taking it back in the final 15 seconds on a gaffe that indicated some team other than Northwestern might be cursed. "Without him we're not even close to being in that situation at the end".
"When he grabbed me I was kind of surprised". "You envision yourself hitting the game victor". This made for the curious possibility that Pardon, the maker of Northwestern's most famous shot of the season as the horn sounded against MI on March 1, might just be one of those rare human beings who prefers atrocious, stultifying pressure when shooting free throws. "That's it", Fisher-Davis said. First, Luke Kornet is significantly taller than any Northwestern player, so he should have his way with the Wildcats on the blocks. Then, after Northwestern split a pair of free throws, Fisher-Davis's 75-foot heave at the buzzer was off the mark as the Wildcats held on. Not shockingly, much of the blame for the loss went to Fisher-Davis, and he took full responsibility.
With his team up one and the clock winding down just below 15 seconds, Matthew Fisher-Davis did the unthinkable.
A game between two of the best academic schools in the NCAA tournament was incongruously ended by a mindless, mental gaffe that proves just how little difference there is between one shining moment and college basketball infamy. "But to be able to do that at the free throw line was very relaxing". They're on spring break and decided to make the six-hour drive and watch their team play South Dakota State. An underhanded free throw, and one with a form that hurts to look at.
The last minute of the game was, at risk of cliché, the definition of March Madness.
BUFFALO, New York - Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points and NCAA Tournament top seed Villanova shook off a slow start in the East region with a 76-56 victory over No. 16 seed Mount St. Mary's.
A downside of Gonzaga's West Coast Conference schedule is that Williams-Goss, and the team as a whole, has not faced a lot of point guards as good as McIntosh. It will probably be the same on Saturday against No. 1 seed Gonzaga.
"We knew on the defensive end we were doing our jobs and, eventually, the shots were going to fall", Zach Collins said. They doubled the Zags' big men inside and managed to sink enough three-pointers to stay within striking distance.