Vanderbilt's history in the Sweet 16

Vanderbilt's appearance in Phoenix Thursday in the NCAA Sweet 16 will mark only the fifth time in school history a Commodore men's team has advanced this deep into the tournament. How did the four previous Commodore teams to qualify for the NCAA Round of 16 fare? Here's a look back.


Coach: Roy Skinner.
Key players: Clyde Lee, John Ed Miller, Bob "Snake" Grace.
How Vandy arrived at the Sweet 16: Won the regular season Southeastern Conference championship. In these days, the SEC champion received an automatic berth in what was then known as the "Mideast Regional" in the round of 16 teams. The 1965 regional was held in Lexington's Memorial Coliseum.
How they fared in the Sweet 16: The 1965 team is the only team in school history to win in the Round of 16 and advance to the Elite Eight. The game against DePaul went into overtime, but Vanderbilt advanced with an 83-78 win. The Commodores would be narrowly beaten out in the regional finals by Cazzie Russell and Michigan, 87-85, in perhaps the most famous game in school history. John Ed Miller was called for traveling on a basket that gave Vandy the lead in the final minute. It was the closest a Vanderbilt team has ever come to making the Final Four.


Coach: Roy Skinner.
Key players: Jan van Breda Kolff, Terry Compton, Lee Fowler, Bill Ligon, Jeff Fosnes, Joe Ford, Butch Feher.
How Vandy arrived at the Sweet 16: Vandy won the regular season SEC Championship with a record of 15-3, and was awarded an automatic berth in the Mideast Regional.
How they fared in the Sweet 16: Lost to Al McGuire's Marquette team, 69-61. The Mideast Regional also included a consolation game, which the Commodores lost to a powerful Notre Dame team, 118-88. It was a disappointing end to what had been one of the most memorable regular seasons in school history.


Coach: C. M. Newton.
Key players: Will Perdue, Barry Goheen, Barry Booker, Frank Kornet.
How Vandy arrived at the Sweet 16: The 1988 Commodores received an at-large bid after finishing the regular season 18-10, and 10-8 in the SEC, and were sent to Lincoln, Nebraska as a 7-seed for the first round of the 64-team tournament. Vanderbilt defeated Utah State 80-77 in the first round, then advanced to the Sweet 16 with an unforgettable win over Pittsburgh. Barry Goheen's long-range 3-point buzzer-beater tied the game in regulation, and Vandy went on to win 80-74 in overtime.
How they fared in the Sweet 16: Not so well. In the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., the Commodores ran into Danny Manning and Kansas and fell, 77-64. Kansas, coached by Larry Brown, would go on to win the tournament, and Manning would be named tournament MVP.


Coach: Eddie Fogler
Key players: Billy McCaffrey, Chris Lawson, Bruce Elder, Kevin Anglin.
How Vandy arrived at the Sweet 16: The 1993 Commodores won the regular-season SEC Championship with a record of 14-2, but received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament after failing to win the SEC Tournament. Vanderbilt received a 3-seed in the West Regional, the school's highest seed ever since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. In the first two rounds, Vanderbilt easily defeated Boise State (92-72) and Illinois (85-68).
How they fared: The Commodores went cold from outside and were no match for John Chaney and Temple's matchup zone. With alumnus Bill Cosby in the audience, the cagey Owls defeated Vandy 67-59. Within a week afterwards, Coach Fogler would leave to accept the open head coaching position at South Carolina. Top Stories