Tennessee grabbed a 25-point lead in the first half against Iowa, and it looked like the Vols were going to cruise to an easy victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. But the Hawkeyes had a different plan.
Iowa slowly erased that 25-point deficit and tied up the game with 2:39 remaining in the second half, and they did so again with just over 20 seconds to play after Joe Wieskamp hit a pair of free throws to make it 71-71. Jordan Bone missed a three for Tennessee on the other end, and the once-blowout ended up going to overtime.
The Vols completely collapsed in the second half, but Iowa was never able to grab a lead despite their furious comeback. That would come back to haunt them in overtime.
Tennessee reasserted themselves in the extra period and scored the first seven points of overtime. All in all, the Vols outscored the Hawkeyes 12-6 in overtime and ended up winning 83-77 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
For UT, this year’s Sweet Sixteen appearance marks the first time the Vols have made it that far in the NCAA Tournament since 2014. And for their head coach, Rick Barnes, it’s the first time he’s made it that far in the tournament since 2008 when he was still the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
After the game, Tennessee’s players celebrated the victory by dousing Barnes with bottles of water, and Barnes himself was jubilant along with his players.
“All I can say is ‘Sweet Sixteen baby!'” Barnes said towards his players in the locker room after the Vols’ six-point victory over Iowa.
Here’s video of UT’s celebration in the locker room after their win:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2019
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 24, 2019