Iowa Falls to Richmond in Shocking March Madness Upset, 67-63
After winning the Big Ten Tournament, having another First Team AP All-American, it seemed five-seed Iowa was poised for a run in the NCAA Tournament.
Their first-round opponent and 12-seed, the Richmond Spiders had other ideas, defeating the Hawkeyes in a stunning upset, 67-63.
"We're resilient," said starting point guard Jacob Gilyard after the Spiders' win. "We've been doing this all year."
That resilience showed in full effect in today's game.
Entering the second half with a minuscule 29-28 and Iowa shooting just 30.3% from the field and 7.6% from three over the first 20 minutes, nobody would've been surprised if the Hawks came out and put the hammer down in the second half. At one point, it looked like that was coming.
From the 18:03 to the 16:26 mark in the second half, Iowa went on a 10-0 run to take a 39-34 lead.
But the Spiders stuck with their intensity.
"I couldn't be more proud of our guys," head coach for the Spiders, Chris Mooney said after the game. "That was a tremendous effort -- particularly defensive effort -- against one of the best offenses in the country."
Iowa averaged 90.1 points per game this season, and the 63 points they scored were their third-lowest offensive output all season. Keegan Murray scored 21 and Patrick McCaffrey added 18 points, but no other Hawkeye was able to reach double figures. As a team, the Hawks shot 24-66 (36.4%) from the field and 6-29 (20.7%) from three.
"They were just physical," Murray said. "They brought a lot of guys any time I was driving to the basket. ... I was able to find a lot of guys on kick-outs, and a lot of our guys had open looks. They had a good game plan, we just missed open shots."
"We had some things we wanted to do and we didn't get that done (offensively)," Coach McCaffrey said. "In a situation like this, you have to give respect to your opponent."
The game didn't come without some questionable calls -- or no calls -- by the officials.
One key moment came when Kris Murray launched what would've been a game-tying three with less than one minute remaining, as Richmond's Matt Grace made contact with Kris' wrist, and Hawkeye fans were demanding a foul to be called.
"I was on the other side of the floor," said McCaffrey after the game. "So, I'll defer to the official on that."
This is another season where Iowa has entered the NCAA Tournament with significant expectations and lost in one of the first two rounds. Last year, the Luka Garza-led, two-seed Hawks fell to the seven-seed Oregon Ducks 95-80 in the second round of the tournament.
Fran McCaffrey has yet to lead Iowa into the Sweet 16 as head coach of the program.
This was also Jordan Bohannon's final game as a Hawkeye.
"This has been some of the best years of my life," he said, choking back tears. "I can't even put into words what (this team) has meant to me. ... I put my heart and soul into this team and hopefully I left this jersey in a better place than I found it. That's all I wanted to do when I came here."
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