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Matthew Fisher-Davis Isn't to Blame for Vanderbilt's Loss to Northwestern

18 March 2017

Easy for him to say. "It's one of our goals to make the tournament, but we're not just satisfied to be here".

Defeat was something that anyone who attended Northwestern would come to grudgingly accept, like Chicago winters that froze your eyelashes.

On the season, Vanderbilt basketball is averaging 71.3 points, 34.6 rebounds and 13.0 assists per game. They had never even been to the tournament.

Count Mayor Rahm Emanuel as one of the proud Northwestern University alums delighting in the team's historic Cinderella dance into the second round of their first-ever NCAA tournament. Maybe all it took was nabbing a Duke graduate.

Coming off the bench, Fisher-Davis led his team in scoring with 22 points.

Northwestern may be in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, but oddsmakers are saying that their run will be short-lived.

Tarik Phillip scored 16 points for the West Region's fourth-seeded Mountaineers, who struggled at times with the outside-shooting Bison.

The 2017 NCAA Tournament opened with several really good games, but unlike previous year, there were no early, bracket-busting upsets. Remember, this is a team that lost to lowly IL twice this season.

Nonetheless, the possibility of Collins leaving Northwestern can't be ruled out. Bill Foster took Duke to a Final Four but went only 54-141 during his seven seasons in Evanston.

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They drench Collins with water after big wins, but this being the biggest of all, the Wildcats were double-fisting-cups and water bottles, anything they could grab.

The Wildcats had been on the losing end of so many games this season when they had led until the very end - they had led Butler, Notre Dame and IN with less than a minute to go before losing to all three - and it looked as though that scenario would lead to their season exit.

He certainly did flub on the accidental foul, but that doesn't erase the good he did throughout the rest of the game. "You don't imagine yourself down one and being fouled".

The Wildcats had played their way to the brink of the bubble in the past, but prior pushes proved pathetic in the face of Big Ten swoons.

But when the Wildcats' name flashed across the screen, the wait was finally over.

Deonte Burton added 14 points and eight rebounds as the fifth-seeded Cyclones won for the 10th time in their last 11 games. Byrdsong was fatally shot by a white supremacist while walking with two of his children near their suburban Chicago home in 1999, two years after he had been fired as Wildcats coach.

Not since Michigan's Chris Webber called a timeout that his team didn't have have I felt this sorry for young basketball player. The question sparked an uneasy silence.

The tournament doesn't need huge upsets to provide excitement, but I'd be shocked if Friday's action doesn't give us a few unexpected twists. It's unlikely to happen, but I'm going to hunt Gonzaga on -10.5 -106 to place a wager.

The eighth-seeded Badgers (26-9) made all the big plays in the closing minutes to set up a meeting with top-seeded Villanova on Saturday.

Matthew Fisher-Davis Isn't to Blame for Vanderbilt's Loss to Northwestern