Commodores in Columbus

Vandy headed to Final Four

by Rod Williamson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It all comes down to this.

Vanderbilt has reached the NCAA’s Final Four and will play Fairleigh Dickinson at 8 a.m. CT Friday in the first round of the double-elimination competition. McKendree and Stephen F. Austin are scheduled to square off at the same time on the other side of the bracket.

The tournament is being held at the Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio.


Tickets are $40 for all sessions. Fans can get $5 off online tickets with the promo code TURKEYTIME at checkout for online tickets only through Thursday.

Watching from Afar

All matches will be livestreamed on and there will be a live link on the front page of the NCAA’s website. The national championship match will be televised live by ESPNU at 7 p.m CT Saturday.

Final Four Seeds

McKendree carries the top seed, Vanderbilt has the 2-seed followed by SFA and FDU, respectively.

Seeds can become significant for lane choice in a match – with the exception of the team leading after four games of the 5-game Baker set gets lane choice.

NCAA Championship History

The format until 2021 included eight teams in the final field.

A year ago, with COVID-19 concerns, the regionals and finals were all held under one roof. With four teams winning regional play in different areas of the country, this year’s Final Four has a fresh feel as each team carries a distinct regional championship into play.

Here is how Vanderbilt has fared through the years at the NCAA Tournament finals:

  • 2006 Houston: 5th, 1-2
  • 2007 Orlando: 1st, 4-0
  • 2008 Omaha: 3rd, 4-2
  • 2009 Detroit: 5th, 1-2
  • 2010 New Brunswick: 5th, 1-2
  • 2011 Detroit: 2nd, 4-2
  • 2012 Cleveland: 3rd, 3-2
  • 2013 Detroit: 2nd, 3-1
  • 2014 Cleveland: 5th, 1-2
  • 2015 St. Louis: 7th, 0-2
  • 2016 North Brunswick: 7th, 0-2
  • 2017 Baton Rouge: 3rd, 2-2
  • 2018 St. Louis: 1st, 4-1
  • 2019 Cleveland: 2nd, 4-2
  • 2020 Canceled
  • 2021 Kansas City: 5th, 2-2

Vandy vs the Final Four

The Commodores have not fared well during the season against the other three teams. They are 1-5 versus FDU, 4-5 against McKendree and 3-3 against SFA.

Dores Enter with Momentum

Vanderbilt has won seven straight matches heading into the Final Four, having gone 4-0 to win the Southland Bowling League title and 3-0 last week in Lansing to take the regional crown.

Same Tournament Format

As with the Southland Championship, matches will be decided by a 2-point mega match. One point will be awarded after a traditional game, another after a 5-game Baker set and, if the teams split points, a best-of-seven Baker to break the tie.

Travel Plans

Vanderbilt is scheduled fly nonstop to Columbus on Wednesday to get settled in prior to Thursday’s various scheduled events.

Thursday Practice

All four teams will practice at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl from 9-11 a.m. CT Thursday. Practices are closed to the public.

NCAA Pre-Tourney Dinner

The four teams will gather Thursday night for a tournament dinner on the eve of play. Among the items on the agenda will be the annual National Ten Pin Coaches Association’s announcement of its All-America team.

Commodore Stat Leaders

Vanderbilt’s strength has been its depth and multiple leaders throughout the season. Here are stat leaders in a few categories:

Scoring Average: Mabel Cummins (21.16/frame)

Frame Fill Percent: Paige Peters (89 percent)

Makeable Spare Percent: Caroline Thesier (87.9 percent)