Iowa Hawkeyes Iowa forward Payton Sandfort dribbles as Michigan State guard Tyson Walker (2) defends during a NCAA Big Ten Conference men’s basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. 230225 Mich St Iowa Mbb 030 Jpg

Usually, when a team is down 13 with under two minutes to play, fans generally head for the exits. Well, not if you’re Iowa. Down 91-78 with one minute and 34 seconds left in regulation, the Hawkeyes would come from behind to force overtime. They later beat Michigan State in the extra period, 112-106.

After the Spartans missed a free throw with 10 seconds remaining, Iowa sophomore Payton Sandfort took a handoff from Connor McCafferty. He then drilled a clutch 3-pointer to knot the game at 101, forcing overtime. The Hawkeyes made five 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds of regulation.

Sometimes you don’t need to wait until March for the madness to get going. Iowa (18-11, 10-8 Big Ten) kept its tournament chances alive with a miraculous come-from-behind victory over Tom Izzo’s Spartans on Saturday.

In Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology projection, Iowa is a projected No. 8 seed. Saturday’s win should keep Fran McCaffrey’s team in the NCAA Tournament. But they may want to be wary about facing Michigan State in the conference tournament in a couple of weeks.

The college basketball world reacted to the improbable comeback on Twitter.

“Iowa, down 10 with 40 seconds left in regulation, beats Michigan State in overtime,” said Sports Illustrated senior writer Pat Forde. “Absolutely crazy.”

“Iowa football offense/special teams scored 184 points over 13 games last season. Iowa basketball scored 112 today,” said Chris Vannini, a senior writer for The Athletic.”

“Michigan State’s win probability at ESPN hit 99.8% in the final minutes of regulation before Iowa went on its run,” said ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Borzello.

“According to the NCAA, Iowa is just the 4th team EVER to win a college hoops game when trailing by 11 points or more in the final minute,” said Dave Revsine, a lead studio host for The Big Ten Network.

[ESPN, NCAA Bracketology]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.