Patrick McCaffery's 14th birthday is Thursday on the first full day of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. His father, Fran, and his Iowa Hawkeyes did their best to give him an early birthday present Wednesday night but the Tennessee Volunteers had other plans in a First Four play-in game.
The Volunteers trailed for most of the night before taking a lead late in regulation and ultimately going to overtime when Jordan McRae's long, fade-away jumper missed at the buzzer. Tennessee dominated the extra 5 minutes and won handily 78-65 to earn the final spot in the Round of 64.
Tennessee outscored Iowa 14-1 in overtime ending the Hawkeyes' first tournament appearance in eight years. The Hawkeyes lost seven of their final eight games. It is Tennessee's sixth win in its past seven games.
Iowa went 0-for-8 in field goal attempts in overtime in a game in which it played hoping to provide something for the McCaffery family to celebrate. Patrick McCaffery underwent surgery early Wednesday morning at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City to remove a tumor from his thyroid.
The McCafferys are not expected to learn for several days whether the tumor was benign oir malignant.
Fran McCaffery flew with his team to Dayton to prepare for the game Tuesday and then back to Iowa City to be with his son for the surgery. He returned to Dayton to coach the game after his son woke from the surgery.
"It's been a day that is almost impossible to describe," McCaffery said in a postgsame interview with truTV.
Tennessee earned the No. 11 seed in the Midwest region and will play No. 6 seed UMass on Friday in Raleigh, N.C.
The Volunteers won despite getting just four points off the bench. However, four of five starters scored in double figures, led by McRae's 20-point night. Forward Jarnell Stokes scored 18 with 13 rebounds.
Iowa's leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble came into the game averaging more than 17 points but scored only seven. Center Adam Woodbury led the Hawkeyes with 16 points.
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