7 things the win over UT accomplished

The thrilling win over Tennessee on Wednesday night will long be remembered in Commodore lore for the final 5 seconds of play. Let's take a look at seven positive effects of the victory.

1. It got Vanderbilt a very important SEC win. After losses to Southern Conference teams Furman and Appalachian State, many "experts" had been predicting Vandy to win just 2 or 3 SEC games. Yes, that could still possibly happen but a win over a ranked team is a big step in the right direction.

2. It helped Derrick Byars get out of his slump. In 31 minutes of action on Saturday at Auburn, Byars had just 8 points and made just 3 of 9 shots from the field. Against the Vols, Byars was red hot, making 10 of 16 from the field and scoring 25 points to get out of the doldrums.

3. It ended Tennessee's two game winning streak over the Commodores. Vanderbilt swept UT during the 2004-05 season but the Vols, armed with new coach Bruce Pearl, returned the favor in the 2005-06 season. Another UT sweep of Vandy this season would have been unthinkable for Commodore fans.

4. It reestablished Vanderbilt's dominance over the Nashville college basketball market. Bruce Pearl and UT have made overtures to capture the Nashville hoops market by scheduling two preseason NIT games and a game with Oklahoma State at the GEC here in Music City. The victory over the Vols takes away some of the hype from UT and gives some back to Vanderbilt.

5. It rekindled Memorial Magic for Vanderbilt. Sure the big win over Georgia Tech a month ago was nice, but as for thrilling finishes, Vanderbilt fans hadn't seen anything like this since that incredible win over Wichita State in the postseason NIT during the 2004-05 season. Memorial Magic is alive and well. Beware Kentucky, Florida and others.

6. It reaffirmed Vanderbilt's rebounding improvement. After dwelling at the bottom of the SEC statistics in team rebounding the Commodores have now out rebounded two SEC opponents in a row. Vanderbilt out rebounded the Vols 40-33 and had 13 offensive rebounds, including the winning tip in by Foster that won the game for Vandy. Can Vanderbilt continue with their rebounding improvement? We'll find out.

7. It took some heat off Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. Stallings is in his eighth season as Vanderbilt head coach and has a similar or better winning percentage as previous Commodore head coaching favorites, Eddie Fogler and C.M. Newton. However, Stallings has only 1 trip to the NCAA in 7 seasons. This does not sit well with many Commodore followers. The Tennessee win evened Vandy's SEC record at 1-1 and gives the Commodores a very workable 11-5 overall record. An NCAA visit is likely to be needed by Stallings to remain as the Commodore's head coach and the UT win provides hope that maybe Vandy can get there.

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