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NCAA Tournament Rewind Day 1: Northwestern’s win over Vandy brought tears

Northwestern forward Gavin Skelly (44) celebrates as Vanderbilt's Joe Toye (2), Jeff Roberson (11), and Matthew Fisher-Davis (5) walk off the court following their first-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Northwestern won 68-66. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

We’re recapping the best, worst and weird moments of the NCAA Tournament, which tipped its round of 64 on Thursday. On the first day, a school known for its sports writers and not its sports teams won by a hair. Speaking of hair, there was a lot of good hair.

Vandy’s silly foul fouls chances vs. Northwestern

We’ll just go ahead and present this lowlight with the appropriate Titanic music.

Vanderbilt went ahead 66-65 on guard Riley LaChance’s driving layup with 17 seconds left, but for some reason his Commodore teammate Matthew Fisher-Davis decided to foul Northwestern after the inbounds play instead of, you know, logically playing strong defense.

Northwestern made the free throws to go ahead by one, and LaChance settled for a long three after the offense broke down on the ensuing possession as the Wildcats won their first NCAA Tournament game to keep their first appearance in the Big Dance alive.

Indeed, it’s hard not to feel bad for Fisher-Davis, who appeared confused about the situation and appeared to have misunderstood his coach’s instructions before committing the foul.

And Northwestern won!

Forget about Vandy’s blunder: Northwestern led for most of the game and played well.

This made many people happy, included a large portion of ESPN’s staff of Medill School of Journalism grads.

The most touching image was a camera catching former NBA coach Doug Collins holding back all of the feels in the crowd as Northwestern finished off the victory. Collins is pops to NU coach Chris Collins.

Seinfeld and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was also pumped. Her son, Charlie Hall, is a walk-on on the Wildcats.

And possibly nobody was more pumped up about the Wildcats’ win than their head football coach, Pat Fitzgerald, who wore the purple and white as a player before taking over the program in 2006.

Coach Fitz popped into the locker room during Chris Collins’ postgame speech and spilled intensity all over the place.


UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball’s shot release is ugly and we’ll see that Friday when the Bruins open their tourney Friday against Kent State.

But Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant has outdone Ball in terms of wonky forms.

He is actually shooting 64 percent with that release!

Luckily Morant makes up for it with his — gasp! — dunking for the team titled Dunk City.


Exposing basketball players we don’t usually get a chance to watch also exposes their hairstyle choices.

Some are good and some are bad.

Eastern Tennessee State’s Hanner Mosquera-Perea has an Odell Beckham Jr. look going on, plus a front mini-ponytail.

Meanwhile, Virginia’s Kyle Guy has a man bun. Or should we call it a “Guy Bun.” I’ll see myself out.


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