At the same time Vanderbilt was playing Arkansas on Saturday, Northwestern was playing Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, and it probably wasn’t a coincidence that both Vanderbilt and Northwestern were shooting poorly and getting drilled as a result.
Why? Like Vanderbilt, Northwestern was playing an early afternoon game the day after a night game, and also like Vanderbilt, Northwestern was playing its third game in as many days.
And also like Vanderbilt, Northwestern was playing a team that was only on its second game of the tournament. Had Arkansas lost to Ole Miss on Friday night, Vanderbilt still would have been running out of gas, but they’d have been playing a similarly situated team. Instead, Vanderbilt ran out of gas after halftime and Arkansas still had a full tank left. The 29-6 run by the Razorbacks to open the second half showed that.
There really isn’t a whole lot else to say about this, other than that, even at 19-15, Vanderbilt should be getting in the NCAA Tournament barring some kind of gross committee malfeasance. In fact, as of Sunday morning, Vanderbilt is included in 124 of 126 brackets on the Bracket Matrix. Even Jerry Palm has caved and put Vanderbilt in. So, you can feel safe getting champagne for Selection Sunday.
- Oddly, Matthew Fisher-Davis’s best performances seem to come in the team’s worst ones.
- None of the starters had truly bad games on Saturday — the bench players are a different matter — but nobody could hit a jump shot to save their life. Dead legs, and everything.
- Also, Luke Kornet has now blocked more shots than any Vanderbilt player since blocked shots became an official stat (meaning, Clyde Lee and Perry Wallace “officially” registered zero career blocks.)
Well, we’ll find that out later today.