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Iowa ahead Tyler Prepare dinner says he and his teammates challenged each other at halftime. They obviously received results. Pay attention in:
Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — All the things you needed to find out about probably the most memorable close to-victory in current Iowa basketball historical past was present in Tyler Prepare dinner’s eyes Sunday.

The Hawkeyes’ junior star had been despondent, defiant, sensible, valiant and again again by means of forty five minutes at Nationwide Area.

What he couldn’t feel was triumphant. That’s what left Prepare dinner drained after an 83-seventy seven extra time loss to Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Event.

His Hawkeyes have been so close to being blowout losers. Then so close to turning into legends of March.

“I just felt like I used to be letting my guys down, truthfully, in the first half,” Prepare dinner stated of a Hawkeye deficit that mushroomed to 25 points.

“I decided, if I’m going to keep lacking photographs, I’m going to no less than play my heart out — and I attempted to try this. I still felt like I fell brief.”

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Iowa’s season, so filled with “did you just see that?” moments, ended with the boldest and most bittersweet of all of them. Only one workforce in NCAA Event history, the 2012 BYU Cougars, had ever erased a 25-level deficit and gained. And that was in a “First 4” recreation, which hardly generates goosebumps.

The Hawkeyes did it towards the fifth-ranked group in the nation, with a Sweet 16 berth at stake throughout an unique nationwide broadcast window. They fought again to tie it up however by no means led.

Their season ends with a 23-12 document and the information that, given an opportunity to break down, they stood agency.

“I’m unsure I’ve been part of one thing like that in my life. We’ve come back from leads before. To do it on this stage towards a workforce like Tennessee in this type of surroundings — it was unimaginable, truthfully; simply the sensation on the courtroom, the power, simply wanting in our eyes and seeing how a lot … guys needed it,” Prepare dinner stated.

“It’s a fistfight. They’re not going to surrender. We rattling positive didn’t hand over.”

Prepare dinner, Iowa’s main scorer at 14.6 points per recreation, was scoreless within the first half. He missed all five of his photographs after making just one of 9 in Friday’s opening-spherical win over Cincinnati. He even limped to the bench at one level for an extended stay, massaging his left knee and watching in silent disbelief as his Hawkeye group imploded around him.

Tennessee (31-5) was operating and scoring and fist-bumping all over Iowa to take a forty nine-28 lead. A second seed with that massive of an advantage on a 10 seed? Overlook about it.

“I just keep in mind watching video games and, for those who see any person is down 23, you usually attempt to flip to the opposite recreation,” Iowa senior Nicholas Baer provided afterward. “I…