The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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March 20, 2014

Iowa goes dry in OT

(Continued)

“Their players hugged me and told me they were thinking of me,” McCaffery said. “I was really impressed with their guys and the program Cuonzo has built there.”

McCaffery said test results on the tumor are expected as early as Friday or as late as Monday. His son remained in a hospital overnight but could be discharged on Thursday.

The Vols (22-12) head to Raleigh, N.C., where they’ll play sixth-seeded Massachusetts on Friday in the Midwest Regional. They left Dayton with a lot of momentum — six wins in their last seven games.

“We did a tremendous job toward the end of fighting back,” said McRae, who had 20 points. “We did a great job on our defense. For us to hold them like we did was a great job.”

Iowa got a subpar performance from its leading scorer. Roy Devyn Marble was only 3 of 15 from the field for seven points, matching his season low.

The Hawkeyes were struggling as they headed into their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2006, losing six of their previous seven games. Defense was the biggest problem, often letting them down in the second half.

They opened the game in promising fashion, switching from man-to-man to zone to half-court traps. It worked. They got off to a 16-4 lead and were still ahead 29-26 at halftime.

They kept swatting away the Volunteers’ runs until the last few minutes of regulation.

Marble’s basket tied it at 64, and he was guarding McCrae when he missed his fade-away shot at the buzzer sending it to overtime.

Tennessee got an at-large bid by closing the season with a defensive flourish. The Volunteers won five straight before losing to No. 1 Florida 56-49 in the Southeastern Conference tournament. They gave up 61.1 points per game, second only to Florida in the SEC, and allowed an average of only 47.4 points in the last four games.

In overtime, that defense decided it.

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