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Northwestern Evenly Matched in its First Ever March Madness Appearance

For Northwestern and its fans, this appearance in the NCAAB tournament could be a once-in-a-lifetime event. The Wildcats got into the bracket for the first time ever after a school-best 23-win season and their star-studded alumni that includes such names as Michael Wilbon, Stephen Colbert and David Schwimmer couldn’t be happier. Vanderbilt, however, opened as a 4-point favorite and could bring a swift end to the Wildcats’ joy.

SHARK BITES
  • Vanderbilt is 8-2 SU and 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games against teams with winning records.
  • Both teams were 20-12 ATS this season.
  • Vanderbilt is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games.

This Round of 64 matchup is pretty much the definition of a toss-up. Both teams play good defense and neither excels at the offensive end of the court. The only discernible advantage I can gather from the stats is the sheer number of threes that the Commodores bury as they’re 12th in the nation in made treys.

Vanderbilt shoots at a 37.65 percent clip beyond the arc and the Wildcats’ 3-point coverage is the worst aspect of their 29th-ranked scoring defense. This game will more than likely be settled from long distance.

If Skip Bayless – one of the Commodores’ notable alumni –  has anything to say about it, though, Vanderbilt is going to drop the anchor on Northwestern’s fairy tale because they're the “better school” with “better alumni,” a “better ex-player coach” and a “far better basketball tradition.” That’s the Skip we all know and love. You do you Skip.

Vanderbilt Commodores vs Northwestern Wildcats Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Northwestern Wildcats sit at 23-11 (20-12 ATS) on the college basketball season. By comparison, the Vanderbilt Commodores are currently 19-15 (21-12 ATS). Looking to bet on the total points scored? Northwestern is 13-17-2 OU, and Vanderbilt is 14-18-1 OU.

The Northwestern Wildcats sit at No. 224 in the current college hoops power poll here at Odds Shark, while the Vanderbilt Commodores sit at No. 54 on the same chart.

Statistical Matchup

When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Vanderbilt Commodores rank No. 189 in NCAA Basketball Division 1 with 34.62 per game. That compares with Northwestern’s No. 121 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Northwestern is college basketball's No. 159-ranked team at 7.09 per game, while the Vanderbilt Commodores rate No. 12 with 9.91 per game.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Riley LaChance scored 12 points in a futile effort to lead the Commodores to a win (they lost 76-62 to Arkansas at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday).

Northwestern was run off the court by the Badgers on Saturday as Wisconsin routed them 76-48 at Verizon Center.

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