Iowa took a 21-point halftime deficit and sent the second-seeded Tennessee Volunteers to overtime, ultimately falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 83-71.
Like the Cincinnati game, Iowa started off cold as ice, finding themselves in a hole 25-points deep 13 minutes into the contest. It was the coldest half of shooting I think I’ve seen in my life. Iowa was a devastating 9-28, led by an 0-5 outing from Tyler Cook. The Hawkeyes were inefficient everywhere on the offensive end. 4-8 shooting from the free throw line didn’t help Iowa’s cause, and decent 4-10 shooting from deep was whatever.
Tennessee, however, was a scorching 18-35 in the first half. Oh and Iowa had 8 turnovers too. Too often, Iowa was the architect of its own unhappiness. Admiral Schofield had 17 first half points. I mean come on.
Like the Cincinnati game, Iowa was a completely different team in the second half. Tyler Cook forgot about his earlier performance quickly, adding 9 points to 16-4 Iowa scoring run that sparked an insane tenacity on the defensive end that led to seven straight scoreless trips for the Volunteers. The Hawkeyes found a way to clog up passing lanes, leading to 17 Tennessee turnovers and 19 Iowa points off those mistakes. Iowa turned it over just 4 times in the second half, no doubt buoying their scoring opportunities.
Tyler Cook coming through! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/h3ZHw6y8h5— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2019
Iowa’s comeback built as Isaiah Moss took a Grant Williams turnover down the coast to spark another 13-4 scoring run right before another Moss 3 put Iowa within one at 65-64 with 4 minutes left to play. Lamonte Turner then made a pair of free throws, before Jordan Bohannon was “fouled” on a three. He made all this free throws, and there you have it, Iowa battled back from a 25 point deficit at 67’s.
Then Turner immediately hit a three of his own. After a missed Vol free throw and another made Moss jumper, Joe Wieskamp went to the line with 20 seconds left after getting fouled by Jordan Bowden. Wiesy sunk em, Jordan Bone missed a three-pointer as time expired and we had overtime.
Overtime sucked. Iowa scored just 6 points in OT, while Tennessee scored 12. Isaiah Moss, the guy who got Iowa into the game late, tried to play hero ball and missed the first three shots of the overtime period, and all of sudden Iowa found itself down by 8 points. By the time Iowa looked low for Cook at the rim to find scoring opportunities it was too late, and 7 points and a steal from Williams would’ve been enough on its own.
TENNESSEE FROM DEEP! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/dDgrlVge0o— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2019
There was a time in this game where it looked like Tennessee was playing a different sport. There’s a reason why casual basketball fans have heard of Jordan Bone and Admiral Schofield before. The Hawkeyes outscored Tennessee 43-22 in the second half and showed the Volunteers they were not going to quit and fought and fought and fought. It would’ve been easy to throw in the towel, but instead Iowa damn near made it to the sweet 16.
- I’m not sure what it is with this team and abysmal starts. But I was really glad to see Tyler Cook rebound. He ended the game with 11 points, all in the second half.
- I really would have liked to seen us go to Luka Garza more. He still had 13 points, but was doing a great job of drawing fouls and went 5-6 from the line. Tennessee knew to keep Iowa away from the three point line, and it should have been exploited more.
- Iowa shot just 7-21 from three. They usually don’t win games when that happens.
- Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with 18 points, and was mugged early and often by Jordan Bone. I don’t understand what an arm bar is.
It was a good season. The Hawkeyes made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and took a team that spent a month of the season ranked No. 1 to overtime.