This morning, it didn't look like Iowa hoops would be providing a hangover cure when they traveled to Madison. Wisconsin entered the day at 12-3, #11 in the polls (and Ken Pomeroy #1 in the country), playing at the Kohl Center where they almost never lose and where Iowa hadn't won since 2000. Iowa looked passable in a loss against Purdue mid-week, but not yet at this level.
Two hours later, Iowa walks out with a gutsy 72-65 win. The Hawkeyes' bench outscored the starters, as Bryce Cartwright's point guard play after entering the game kept Iowa close throughout the first half and Aaron White's inside scoring (18 points) keyed an Iowa run in the second. Iowa was effective in pushing the tempo through Cartwright and Devyn Marble, and the backcourt tandem each made a clutch shot down the stretch. After some initial problems handling Wisconsin on the glass, Iowa adjusted to the long rebounds created by Wisconsin's outside shooting (Matt Gatens led the team with 12 boards). And Wisconsin provided plenty of rebounding opportunities, shooting just 35% from the field and an abysmal 2-for-25 from behind the arc.
Needless to say, it's the biggest win of the season, probably the biggest win of McCaffery's tenure at Iowa, and a balm for last night's conestoga wagon-shaped wound. More analysis to come (HEC is currently punching numbers and doing shots), but for now: Junior Senior? Yeah, Junior Senior.
Don't stop the beat. Can't stop the beat. Won't stop the beat. Move your feet and feel united, people. This one is big.
Thread's open for the rest of the day.