No. 8 Northwestern won the first NCAA tournament game in the history of the program thanks to some clutch shooting and a bone-headed foul committed by No. 9 Vanderbilt.
The Wildcats and the Commodores traded baskets for the final two minutes of this game, with the lead changing hands seven times in that stretch. After Vandy’s Riley LaChance scored a tough runner with just under 20 seconds left in the game to give the ‘Dores a 66-65 lead, teammate Matthew Fisher-Davis lost his mind and committed an intentional foul in the back court:
Bryant McIntosh would hit both free throws and LaChance missed a go-ahead three with five seconds left, as the Wildcats would go on to win, 68-66.
Fisher-Davis said he thought Vandy was down 1. When Commodores coach Bryce Drew pointed for him to pick up McIntosh, Fisher-Davis thought he was saying to foul him.
“It was a collective effort in coming back, and it was my dumb mistake why we lost,” Fisher-Davis said after the game.
This is just such a brutal was for a team to lose a game, and I cannot imagine being in Fisher-Davis’ shoes right now. This was the only tournament game being played at the time — the late tips didn’t start for another 10 minutes and the only other afternoon tip had ended 10 minutes before the foul — meaning that everyone saw this happen. He’s not going to live that down, and the cruel irony is that if it wasn’t for his 22-point performance, Vandy would never have been in a position for him to make this mistake.
Northwestern’s win is March at its absolute best.
But what Fisher-Davis is going to go through is the other side of it, a heartbreaking loss and a career-defining mistake that will never leave him.
McIntosh finished with 25 points for Northwestern, making big shot after big shot down the stretch. The Wildcats were up by 15 points midway through the second half, but Vanderbilt made a run.
Northwestern advances to take on No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday in the second round.
Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.
He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.