March 21, 2007
Making its second NCAA Tournament regional semifinal appearance in four years, No. 6 seed Vanderbilt takes on Big East power and No. 2 seed Georgetown in East Rutherford, N.J. on Friday, March 23. Tip off is set for 6:27 p.m. CT at Continental Airlines Arena.
Vanderbilt (22-11) trades the West Coast for the East Coast this weekend after posting memorable victories over No. 11 seed George Washington and No. 3 seed Washington State last week in Sacramento, Calif. The Commodores 77-44 victory over George Washington marked the largest margin of victory by a No. 6 seed in the tournament since it expanded to as many as 64 teams in 1985. Two days later, Vanderbilt outlasted Washington State in a double overtime thriller 78-74 to advance to the Sweet 16.
Commodore wing players Derrick Byars and Shan Foster have played a large part in Vanderbilt's success. The duo combined for 47 points against the Cougars on Saturday as Byars accounted for a game-high 27 and Foster poured in 20. Byars helped carry the Commodores to victory hitting five 3-pointers and netting 19 points after intermission. Foster scored a game-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field against George Washington in first round action.
Vanderbilt is 1-3 all-time in regional semifinal contests, having lost three consecutive such games since an 83-78 overtime win against DePaul in the 1965 Mideast Regional in Lexington, Ky.
Vanderbilt opened the 2006-07 campaign with an 86-70 home loss to Georgetown on Nov. 15. It was one of only three home losses for the Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium this season. The Hoyas' Jeff Green scored 19 points and Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 10 rebounds as Georgetown never trailed. Point guard Alex Gordon led Vanderbilt with 15 points. Byars added 14.
Georgetown leads the overall series 3-1, including a 70-60 West Regional first-round victory in the 1991 NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt's lone series win came by a 68-61 tally on Nov. 26, 2005 in Washington, D.C.