It may have taken 78 years, but Northwestern got its first ever NCAA tournament win.
In their first-ever NCAA men’s tournament appearance, the No. 8-seed Northwestern Wildcats defeated No. 9-seed Vanderbilt in the first round of the tournament in the West Region.
The Wildcats held a double-digit lead majority of the game before Vanderbilt fought its back in the final minutes, including taking a one-point lead with 1:36 left to play.
With 17 seconds left and a 66-65 lead, Vanderbilt junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis made a mental error fouling junior guard Bryant McIntosh as he dribbled up court. McIntosh hit both free throws, giving the Wildcats a 67-66 lead.
Vanderbilt junior guard Riley LaChance missed a long three-pointer with seven seconds remaining, and Northwestern senior guard Sanjay Lumpkin hit one of his two free throw attempts to close out the game.
McIntosh led the Wildcats with 25 points. Fisher-Davis, off the bench, led Vanderbilt with 22 points.
Northwestern will face No. 1 Gonzaga Saturday in the second round.