Northwestern was an answer to a trivia question for a long time. Well, they are no longer applicable since they will finally make their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It was the goal when they hired head coach Chris Collins in 2013.
There hasn’t been much buzz around Vanderbilt since everyone is talking about Northwestern’s first tourney bid. The Commodores have enough shooters on the team to make a run.
Can Vanderbilt upset Northwestern in Salt Lake City?
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The Northwestern Wildcats will make their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance this week. They were the only school from a power conference that has never made it before. Northwestern played a relatively safe non-conference schedule and didn’t really have their first big test until faced a tough patch of the Big Ten schedule. They beat Wisconsin, Michigan and Maryland in the last calendar month of the regular season.
The Vanderbilt Commodores live and die by the three-pointer. This is a team that is made in the mold of their head coach Bryce Drew. Their offense works for them since they are also a good rebounding team. They get a lot of second-chance opportunities. They hold the distinction of beating the Florida Gators three times this year.
I fear Northwestern might come into this game satisfied that they just made it to the dance. Vanderbilt is playing very well right now. They even came close to knocking off Kentucky in late-February. I think Vandy leaves this game with a W.
Prediction: #9 Vanderbilt Commodores
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.