COLUMBUS, Ohio — It nearly became one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history.
Iowa erased a 25-point Tennessee lead to force overtime, but ran out of gas and fell 83-77 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Volunteers scored the first seven points of overtime with two Grant Williams free throws, a Jordan Bone 3-pointer and a Williams jumper and never trailed again.
The Hawkeyes closed the season with a 23-12 record.
After Tennessee went up 71-67 in regulation, Isaiah Moss finished a layup and Joe Wieskamp tied the score at 71 with two free throws with 20.8 seconds remaining. Jordan Bone’s 3-pointer in the final seconds rimmed out.
Jordan Bohannon hit three free throws to tie it at 67 with 2:34 remaining, then Lamonte Turner buried a 3-pointer on the next Tennessee possession. But the Hawkeyes got back in it after Bowden split a pair of free throws and Admiral Schofield missed a 3.
Iowa fell behind 44-19 with 4:22 remaining in the first half and 49-28 at halftime, but came out fighting in the second half.
Tyler Cook scored Iowa’s first nine points of the half in the first 4 1/2 minutes to get within 51-37 and set the tone. Iowa eventually cut the lead to 65-64 on a fadeaway Isaiah Moss 3 as the shot clock expired, then tied it on Bohannon’s free throws following a controversial foul call.
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Williams totaled 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks for Tenneesee. His performance was vital as Admiral Schofield, who had 17 points in the first half, battled foul trouble.
Bohannon led four Hawkeyes in double figures with 18 points. Moss had 16.
Tennessee will face No. 3-seed Purdue in the Sweet 16 . Iowa was looking for its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1999. Early, it followed a similar script as its last two second-round losses, both 87-68 defeats to No. 2-seeds Gonzaga and Villanova.
If Iowa had pulled off the win, it would have tied the largest comeback in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history. BYU beat Iona 78-72 in the 2012 First Four after trailing by 25.