The Tennessee Volunteers really earned this one. Trailing for much of the game, the Vols stormed back in the final minutes to force overtime against the Iowa Hawkeyes, then took over the game in overtime to move on in the 2014 NCAA Tournament to face the UMass Minutemen. To get a sense of what the reaction to just an awesome game was, let's take a walk about town over at Rocky Top Talk and Black Heart, Gold Pants to see how Tennessee and Iowa fans, respectively, reacted.
First, from Rocky Top Talk's Will Shelton comes the Tennessee recap.
The first NCAA Tournament win doesn't always feel like the biggest win of your season. But thanks to the quality of the SEC and the roller coaster nature of this season, you can bet this team is celebrating this one like no other tonight. It's on to UMass very soon, but the Vols and Cuonzo Martin absolutely earned this one tonight. This Tennessee team was down five with 4:33 to play, and won by 13 in overtime. That's Tennessee's very best basketball when we needed it most.
We need it again in 48 hours. Dance and advance.
But then there is the heartbreak hotel over at Black Heart, Gold Pants from Adam Jacobi.
We could spend a thousand more words on the connection, but suffice it to say it's obvious and dwelling on the details therein isn't going to help anything or anybody. But that was it, one perfect encapsulation of how close Iowa was to greatness and how brutal the loss is anyway.
It would have been beautiful for Iowa to just keep beating that ass for 40 minutes after jumping out to leads of 16-4 and 23-12, to say this one's for Pat McCaffery as the team gets everything back on track, to salvage the season on a wave of good vibes.
But here's the thing: regardless of if you think there's some karmic balance sheet out keeping score on the world, it sure as hell doesn't have a damn thing to do with sports games.
What about Twitter?
Stokes rolling around like a beached whale on the floor, sure, give him a timeout.— Black Heart (@BHGP) March 20, 2014
Overtime— Chaz Juice Williams (@Chaz3Williams) March 20, 2014
The Madness of March playing out right before our eyes.— The Iowa Hawkeyes (@TheIowaHawkeyes) March 20, 2014
Add "guarding Jarnell Stokes" to list of things I never want to do. Man is massive— Terrence Payne (@terrence_payne) March 20, 2014
March 20, 2014
Tennessee vs. UMass on Friday. I'll go Vols.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 20, 2014
It's official playing against my home state and the old stumping grounds of my cuzo @RonSlay35 #UMassBasketball— iam_uncommon0 (@MRDYSON1022) March 20, 2014
Looks like this one is going to be a blast, you guys. Stay tuned here for everything you'll ever need as we lead up to the first UMass NCAA Tournament game since 1998.