SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Murray State coach Billy Kennedy went with his gut and drew up a play his team had never run before, with Isacc Miles the go-to guy at the end. Third option Danero Thomas became the hero instead.
Thomas hit a 15-footer as the buzzer sounded and 13th-seeded Murray State stunned No. 4 seed Vanderbilt 66-65 on Thursday in an NCAA tournament opener in the West Regional.
"It wasn't just a game-winning shot. We'll remember this for the rest of our lives," Murray State's B.J. Jenkins said.
"This is probably the biggest shot I've ever hit in my life," said Thomas, who had 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots.
U.S. President Barack Obama must have been onto something picking these revved-up Racers (31-4) to get past the first round. It was the school's first victory in the NCAA tournament since a 78-75 win over North Carolina State in 1988.
For the second time in as many appearances, Vanderbilt (24-9) bowed out early as the higher seed. The Commodores were also a first-round upset victim by Siena in 2008 when seeded fourth.
Murray State, the mid-major that came in with a dismal 1-13 all-time NCAA tournament record, will play again Saturday at HP Pavilion against Butler after it beat UTEP 77-59.
-- The Associated Press