AP NEWS

8 Northwestern vs. 9 Vanderbilt

March 15, 2017

Bing Predicts winner: Vanderbilt (57 percent)Region: WestLocation: Salt Lake City, UtahOpening line: VAN -1.5Tipoff time: 4:30 p.m. EST (Thursday)For the first time in the history of the universe, Northwestern is dancing. The Wildcats rank 27th in defensive rating -- ahead of Duke, SMU and Iowa State -- and are 34th in points allowed per game (65.1). Northwestern struggles offensively at times, but sophomore forward Vic Law is versatile enough to give opponents fits. Law averages 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 39.6 percent on three-point attempts.Vanderbilt faced the toughest schedule in the country, and it showed in its record (19-15). Senior forward Luke Kornet, who’s listed at 7-foot-1, made 51 three-pointers and averaged two blocks per game this season while making 85.1 percent of his free throws.Vanderbilt is a good three-point shooting team (37.7 percent), while Northwestern holds opponents to just 33.5 percent on threes. Given the Commodores’ battle-tested regular season and the Wildcats’ lack of experience, Bing gives the nod to Vanderbilt.