Historic Comeback by Iowa Hawkeyes
In a game that will be remembered for years to come, the Iowa Hawkeyes staged a historic comeback against the Michigan State Spartans in a Big Ten clash on Saturday. Iowa fell behind by 13 points with just 1:34 remaining in the game but miraculously scored 23 points in the final 90 seconds to force an overtime with a 101-101 tie at the end of regulation. The Hawkeyes then outscored the Spartans 11-5 in the extra period, sealing one of the most improbable victories in college basketball history.
Fran McCaffery’s Bizarre Stare-Down Ignites Iowa’s Comeback
But the game will be forever remembered for a bizarre moment involving Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, who may have inadvertently sparked his team’s miraculous comeback. McCaffery has a reputation for being a hot-headed coach prone to technical-inducing tantrums. In this game, he drew a technical for expressing dissatisfaction with a controversial ruling by the referees. However, it was what happened next that was truly strange. McCaffery proceeded to stare down the referee for a good 15 seconds, his arms folded across his chest, a look of defiance on his face.
It’s unclear what prompted McCaffery to react in this way. It may have been a calculated move to fire up his team, which responded by scoring a flurry of three-pointers in the final minute and a half. McCaffery’s stare-down was like something out of a western movie, but it seemed to have worked. It galvanized his players and they responded by pulling off the greatest comeback in the history of the Big Ten.
Kris Murray and Tony Perkins Lead Iowa’s Miraculous Comeback
Iowa star Kris Murray and Tony Perkins were the heroes for the Hawkeyes. They combined for 39 of their team’s final 44 points. Murray poured in 26 points, including 20 in the second half and overtime periods. Perkins contributed 24 points, 19 of which came in the same timeframe. As a team, Iowa hit six three-pointers during the final minute and a half, trading two points from the free throw line for three-pointers that proved to be crucial in the comeback.
Michigan State, which was led by Tyson Walker’s 31 points, was shooting lights out from beyond the arc. However, the Spartans’ inability to hit crucial free throws late in the game and their lack of defensive execution proved to be their undoing.
The Spartans were understandably devastated by the loss, with coach Tom Izzo blaming himself for the collapse. “That was piss-poor coaching,” he said after the game. “We didn’t finish the job.” But for Iowa, it was a day they will never forget, as they pulled off a victory that will go down in the annals of college basketball as one of the greatest of all time.
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