With the conclusion of Sunday’s game between Texas A&M and Northern Iowa, it’s safe to say that March Madness is in full effect.
Even with (15) Middle Tennessee upsetting (2) MSU, and (12) Yale beating (5) Baylor, what happened to the UNI Panthers might be the most upsetting occurrence so far.
Just one game removed from Paul Jesperson’s half-court buzzer beater to beat the Longhorns, the Panthers faced off against the Aggies with a Sweet 16 berth on the line. UNI was up 32-22 entering the half and held the Aggies to just six made field goals.
With 44 seconds left in the second half, Jeremy Morgan put the Panthers up, 69-57. On the ensuing possession for Texas A&M, Admon Gilder makes a layup and trims the lead to ten — not too big of a deal.
What is a big deal is that UNI turned the ball over on three straight possessions, and Texas A&M scored seven points, cutting the lead to 69-66. Klint Carlson dunked with 17 seconds left to stretch the lead back up to five and give the Panthers some breathing room.
Less than five seconds later, Alex Caruso stormed downcourt and completed an and-1 to cut that five-point lead down to three. There were five seconds left until the end of the game and all UNI had to do was hold onto the ball.
Instead, Admon Gildan gets his second steal withing 30 seconds and hits a layup with three seconds left to tie the game at 71.
Texas A&M managed to score 12 points in 44 seconds off of four Northern Iowa turnovers and force overtime. Classic March Madness.
Both teams would fight valiantly through two overtimes, but Texas A&M would emerge the victors with a final of 92-88, punch a ticket to the Sweet 16, and complete one of — if not — the greatest comebacks in NCAA Tournament history.
Alex Caruso led the Aggies with 25 points and nine rebounds while Jeremy Morgan had 36 on 10/20 shooting and 13 rebounds for UNI.
Texas A&M’s Sweet 16 game is against Buddy Hield & (2) Oklahoma on March 24 at 7:37 EST.