“I feel like a fifth grader who just ate Skittles,” Williams stated. “Just want to say that.”
Williams, the Southeastern Conference’s two-time participant of the yr, dazzled in additional time, scoring six of Tennessee’s first 9 factors. He additionally contributed a vital steal for the Volunteers, who will play third-seeded Purdue on Thursday night time in Louisville, Ky. It will likely be their first journey to the spherical of 16 since 2014, once they crashed the event as a No. 11 seed.
This season they’ve rated among the many nation’s finest since November, even spending a month because the top-ranked group, however their efficiency throughout their two video games in Columbus, Ohio, has challenged their standing as a championship contender in a area fronted by Virginia.
Tennessee toted into the event painful reminiscences of final season’s exit, when as a No. Three seed it was upset in the second spherical by Loyola-Chicago. The Volunteers struggled in a 77-70 first-round victory towards No. 15 Colgate, and Coach Rick Barnes stated Sunday that he thought his group has carried “a little extra stress” to go deeper this yr. That stress appeared absent in the primary half towards Iowa, once they complemented swarming protection with inside-out stability, racing to a 44-19 lead.
Trailing by 21 at halftime, Iowa opted to not run with Tennessee in the second half. Slowing down the tempo, the Hawkeyes fed the ball inside extra to Tyler Cook and Luka Garza. Jordan Bohannon’s three free throws — on what appeared a questionable foul name on Lamonte Turner, who appeared to have blocked the Three-point try cleanly — tied the rating for the primary time, at 67-67, with 2:39 remaining, after which Iowa overcame a four-point deficit in the ultimate 58 seconds to ship the sport into additional time.
Had the Hawkeyes gained, they might have matched Brigham Young’s comeback towards Iona in 2012.
“We know it’s not going to be perfection — it never is,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery stated. “But what you hope to get is a perfect effort. And that’s what we got.”
The different three No. 2 seeds — Michigan, Michigan State and Kentucky — gained their second-round video games by a mean of 13.7 factors, and solely Kentucky was significantly examined, by Wofford. If the Volunteers are to progress to their first Final Four, they need to play higher than they’ve throughout their first 85 minutes of play — and so they realize it.
“The way we started the game, that’s the team we win,” stated Tennessee guard Admiral Schofield. “The way we finished the game, we can’t have that. That’s what got us beat throughout the season. The team you saw in the first half is what won 31 games. We have to be consistent in that aspect. But this time of year, it’s about winning, about surviving and advancing.”
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.