DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ahead nearly the entire game, Iowa couldn't finish it off in regulation. Then, the Hawkeyes couldn't make a shot in overtime.
This NCAA tournament loss is going to sting for a long time.
With forward Jarnell Stokes using his 280 pounds to dominate inside and a highly regarded defense finally locking in, Tennessee pulled off the first amazing comeback of the NCAA tournament on Wednesday night.
Stokes opened overtime with a three-point play that put Tennessee ahead to stay, and the Volunteers' defense shut down Iowa in overtime for a 78-65 victory, finishing off the First Four with an exclamation point.
"I don't think we ran out of gas," said Adam Woodbury, who led Iowa with 16 points. "We made some key mistakes down the stretch and that hurt us."
Tennessee didn't lead until Antonio Barton's 3-pointer put the Vols up 59-57 with 3:05 left regulation. There were five lead changes before Tennessee's Jordan McRae missed a jumper missed at the buzzer, leaving it tied at 64.
Stokes' three-point play in overtime was the key moment in his 18-point, 13-rebound performance, putting the Volunteers ahead to stay. It was his 20th double-double this season, the most by a Volunteer since Bernard King had 22 of them in 1976-77.
Tennessee's highly regarded defense took it from there, holding Iowa (21-13) to one free throw the rest of the way. The Hawkeyes missed all eight of their shots from the field in overtime.
It was a tough ending to a long and stressful day for Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. He started in Iowa with his teenage son, Patrick, who had surgery to remove a thyroid tumor. His assistant coaches led the Hawkeyes through a meeting and their final practice, and McCaffery was back by game time.
Coach Cuonzo Martin and the Volunteers wished him well after the game.