Junior Matthew Fisher-Davis led the Vanderbilt Commodores by scoring 13.6 points per game this season.
Coming off the bench in the Commodores’ opening round matchup against the Northwestern Wildcats in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, he was sensational, dropping 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc.
He also added three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block while turning the ball over just one time.
While he was clearly the best Vanderbilt player on the floor in the game as a whole, his performance will unfortunately be remembered by one incredibly boneheaded play in the closing seconds.
Check out what happened below.
Trailing 65-64 with under 20 seconds to go, Vandy was able to get the ball into the post and will in a bucket to take the lead at 66-65.
However, Fisher-Davis seemingly wasn’t aware that his team was now winning and subsequently intentionally fouled the Northwestern point guard Bryant McIntosh, who happens to be their best player, sending him to the line for two free throws, which he made to then give Northwestern the lead.
The announcers were bewildered. His teammates were bewildered. His coach was bewildered. Everyone watching was bewildered.
In that moment, it’s shocking that a Division I basketball player committed such an egregious error.
While it was entirely possible that he thought the team had a foul to give, which wouldn't have resulted in a 1-and-1 situation, judging by his reaction and the reaction of his teammates and coaches, he probably lost track of the score.
While it’s easy to point to a number of other botched plays, missed free throws and turnovers throughout the game, to lose in that fashion must be heartbreaking for Vanderbilt and in particular for Fisher-Davis, who had been in and out of the team’s starting lineup all season based on his up-and-down relationship with his head coach.
Northwestern, in their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, might have stolen the game, but a win is a win and they’re moving on!
McIntosh, who knocked down the go-ahead free throw when Fisher-Davis fouled him in the blooper above, led the Wildcats with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range on the afternoon.
As for Fisher-Davis, the world must now seem like it's ending. However, he will have the opportunity to avenge his mistake next season, when he will become a major player to watch in the SEC during his senior year.