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Northwestern-Vanderbilt GameThread

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At long last, it is finally here.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It's been 79 years in the making.

WELCOME TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT.

The Northwestern Wildcats (23-11, 10-8 Big Ten) are set to face the Vanderbilt Commodores (19-15, 10-8 SEC) in the Round of 64 in the 2017 NCAA tournament this afternoon.

The Wildcats will look to point guard Bryant McIntosh and wings Vic Law Jr. and Scottie Lindsey to lead the charge offensively, just as the three did last week in the Big Ten Tournament in Washington, D.C. Lindsey is looking much closer to himself after a bout with mononucleosis, Law Jr. is coming out of a late-season shooting slump, and McIntosh has carried the team through the struggles of both of them.

The Commodores pose a major threat from a defensive gameplan perspective. Led by 7-foot-1 center Luke Kornet, Bryce Drew's team shoots nearly 38 percent from beyond the three-point line, good for 57th in the nation. Matthew Fisher-Davis has been moved to the bench late in the season, but he leads the Commodores in points per game and the team has a bevy of other offensive weapons. Bryant McIntosh likened Vanderbilt to the Michigan Wolverines, also a high-volume team from behind the arc.

For Northwestern, it's the program debut in the Big Dance. As the marketing team has promoted, "It's Time." Make sure you know how to watch and then join us here.