Adam Woodbury's game-winning putback gave the Iowa Hawkeyes a 72–70 win over the Temple Owls in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.
This game ebbed and flowed for 40 minutes, with Temple forcing overtime after Quenton DeCosey made three free throws after being fouled shooting a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation. Overtime followed that same script, with Iowa, the No. 7 seed in the South Regional, going in front on a three-point play from Peter Jok with 1:52 to go and Temple, the No. 10 seed, eventually tying the score at 70 on a Josh Brown jumper with :52 seconds to go. That score remained as the Hawkeyes prepared for the final shot. Mike Gessell missed a jumper from the wing but 7-footer Adam Woodbuy—who appeared to get away with a slight shove before going up for the rebound—put the ball in as the buzzer sounded, giving Iowa a 72–70 win in Brooklyn.
Why it matters:
Besides giving the 2016 NCAA tournament its first true buzzer beater, the win gave new life to the Hawkeyes' season. Less than two months ago, Iowa looked like the best team in the Big Ten. It swept Michigan State and Purdue and climbed into the top five of the AP poll. But the Hawkeyes went just 2–6 down the stretch, including a loss to a terrible Illinois team in their first Big Ten tournament game, and looked like they wouldn't be staying long in the NCAA tournament, either. But Iowa found a way to win on Friday despite shooting just 34.8% as a team, something it will absolutely have to clean up if it wants to keep dancing. What the Hawkeyes did do quite well, however, was take care of the ball, turning it over just once all game. Still, if Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok combine to shoot 12 for 36 from the floor on Sunday against No. 2 seed Villanova, as they did on Friday, Iowa's season will come to an end.
The Hawkeyes will face the Big East regular season champion Wildcats in the second round on Sunday. Iowa hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 since 1999, while Villanova is looking to get there for the first time since 2009.