DAYTON, Ohio — Jarnell Stokes dominated inside as Tennessee finally caught up in the closing minutes of regulation, and then opened overtime with a three-point play that got the Volunteers headed to a 78-65 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night in the NCAA’s First Four.
The Volunteers’ late comeback sent them Raleigh, N.C., where they’ll play sixth-seeded Massachusetts on Friday in the Midwest Regional.
Tennessee (22-12) didn’t lead until Antonio Barton’s 3-pointer put the Vols up 59-57 with 3:05 left regulation. There were five lead changes before the Vols’ Jordan McRae missed a jumper missed at the buzzer, leaving it tied at 64.
Stokes’ three-point play was the key moment in his 18-point, 13-rebound performance. Iowa (21-13) managed only one free throw in overtime, ending a hectic and stressful day for coach Fran McCaffery.
McCaffery started the day in Iowa with his teenage son Patrick, who had surgery to remove a thyroid tumor.
CAL POLY 81, TEXAS SOUTHERN 69
DAYTON, Ohio — Chris Eversley scored 19 points and Cal Poly avoided its 20th loss of the season and won its first NCAA tournament game.
The Mustangs (14-19) were 0-3 and 4-9 early before losing nine of 11 heading into the Big West Conference tournament — which they won to earn the program’s first NCAA bid.
The team with the worst record in the tournament now moves on to face the one with the best — top-seeded Wichita State (34-0) — in the second round in St. Louis on Friday.
Aaric Murray, the former La Salle and West Virginia player, closed out his career with 38 points for Texas Southern (19-15), champs of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
Cal Poly is the first team with 19 losses to win an NCAA game since Bradley did it in 1955.