Iowa men’s basketball rallies in OT against No. 20 Wisconsin for first Quad 1

With two top-20 offenses stepping onto the floor at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday, it was only natural that Iowa and No. 20 Wisconsin’s thrilling overtime affair came down to who had the ball last. Fortunately for the Hawkeye faithful, it was star point guard Tony Perkins cradling the rock in the dying seconds, using his well-built frame to barge into the paint and his lanky arms to convert a tough layup with 1.3 ticks remaining that gave Iowa an 88-86 win. 

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Despite a recent February slide, Wisconsin received a vote of confidence from the NCAA Tournament selection committee early Saturday, who teased the Badgers as one of the current top-16 March Madness seeds. Such recognition stemmed from a loaded Wisconsin resume, including a sweep of Michigan State and a win over Marquette, and the visitors flexed their pedigree early — Chucky Hepburn and AJ Storr set the tone from the perimeter on Wisconsin’s first two possessions and the Badgers converted five threes in the opening 10 minutes to take a 33-20 lead. 

Breakout freshman Owen Freeman emerged for the Hawkeyes as they toed the danger zone early, scoring 10 points in the final 10:30 of the first half, and a pair of Freeman free throws brought Iowa within four straight out of the under-4 media timeout, a deficit that would endure into the locker room. Freeman led the Hawkeyes with 20 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting performance while also hauling in 13 boards. 

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A more erratic second half for the Badgers left them empty-handed their first three trips down the floor, and a layup from Perkins capped off a 6-0 Iowa run out of the locker room and brought about the Hawkeyes’ first lead of the afternoon. Along with his scoring prowess, Freeman also starred as a facilitator Saturday in coach Fran McCaffrey’s highly-efficient motion offense, finding Josh Dix on a three-point basket with nine minutes remaining —  his fourth dime in 11 minutes gave Iowa a game-high 57-51 advantage. 

A pair of Perkins free throws stretched the Hawkeye lead as high as nine, but an uncharacteristic, untimely four-minute scoring drought allowed Wisconsin to pull even at 74 after the final media timeout. Tyler Wahl managed to give Wisconsin a brief lead inside the final 90 seconds, which Perkins quickly reclaimed with another timely basket at the rim, but Perkins couldn’t duplicate his magic in the dying moments of regulation and the two rivals would play on in overtime.

Freeman refitted his passing cap to begin the extra period, finding Payton Sandfort and Josh Dix, who starred for the Hawkeyes with 18 and 17 points respectively, for crucial jumpers that helped erase an early four-point overtime deficit. Sandfort would swish a pair at the line to level the game at 86 before Perkins redeemed his miss to end regulation with an overtime winner. 

With their first…

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Read More: Iowa men’s basketball rallies in OT against No. 20 Wisconsin for first Quad 1 2024-02-17 22:41:43

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