Tennessee escaped with an overtime victory over Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and it wasn’t an easy win.
The Vols held a 25-point edge late in the first half and roared out to a 49-28 lead at halftime. Tennessee was just as crisp on defense as they were on offense, and they were rolling over the Hawkeyes.
That all flipped upside down in the second half.
Iowa came out with greater defensive intensity in the second half, and the Vols played sloppy at times on offense. All of that led to the Hawkeyes eventually erasing that 21-point halftime deficit and tying the game with 2:39 to play. Tennessee would grab a four-point lead after that point, but then that would get erased again, and with just over 20 seconds left in regulation, Iowa tied up the game a second time.
The game when to overtime, and Tennessee finally found themselves again.
Grant Williams scored the first points of overtime with two free throws, and the Vols got the first seven points of the extra frame. That would be all they needed, as they outscored Iowa 12-6 in overtime to win 83-77 and advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2014.
After the game, Tennessee’s players had plenty to say about what happened during the bizarre and thrilling game.
All video was captured by RTI staff writer Ben McKee
Admiral Schofield talked about why he took himself out of the game late and in overtime, Tennessee’s defense, and more.
Grant Williams discussed the Vols’ lack of defensive intensity to start the second half, the pivotal foul call on Lamonte Turner late in the second half, and much more.
Kyle Alexander talked about his effort on the defensive end, playing to win rather than playing not to lose, and more.
Lamonte Turner discussed the difference between the Vols’ mindset in the first half and the second half, the “phantom foul” called on him in the second half, and more.
Jordan Bowden mentioned Kyle Alexander’s presence on defense, how his own defense fuels his offense, and more.
Jordan Bone discussed his confidence in his own shooting ability, what was going through his mind when UT was giving up their lead in the second half, and much more.