Playing in its first NCAA Tournament game in school history, Northwestern won with help from a brutal mistake by a Vanderbilt player in the closing seconds on Thursday.
Vanderbilt had just taken a one-point lead with less than 18 seconds to go when Northwestern was pushing the ball up the court. That’s when Vanderbilt’s Matthew Fisher-Davis had a brain cramp at the worst possible moment.
Fisher-Davis apparently believed his team was losing and needed to foul to stop the clock. So he grabbed Bryant McIntosh from behind.
Fisher-Davis looked up at the scoreboard and immediately realized his mistake.
McIntosh hit both free throws to give Northwestern the lead.
Vanderbilt would miss a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, and Northwestern made another free throw in winning 68-66 and moving on to the second round.