15th ranked Iowa had a golden opportunity to knock off #7 Michigan State on Tuesday night at home, but they blew it. It wasn’t the Hawkeyes players’ fault, though. No, this one, much like the Wisconsin game, is on Coach Fran McCaffery.
A little over 2 minutes into the 2nd half, MSU player Kieth Appling drove the lane, blatantly traveled, and scored. There was no call on the play, and Fran McCaffery lost his shit. He made a gesture at one of the referees and walked outside of the designated coaches box, and a technical foul was called. Michigan State guard Gary Harris walked up to the line and drained both technical free throws, tying the game 32-32.
While this was only 2 points in a 40 minute basketball game, I had a feeling it would be the difference. After a hard fought 2nd half, the game remained tied and went into OT. MSU outlasted Iowa and won 71-69. If it hadn’t been for that technical foul, there’s a good chance this one would have ended in Iowa’s favor in regulation.
This is a crushing loss for an Iowa team that should have won a similar game at Wisconsin 3 weeks ago. McCaffery’s inability to control his emotions cost them then as it did tonight. For the Iowa Men’s Basketball team and Hawkeyes fans nationwide, I hope he gets it together by the NCAA Tournament. Sadly, it’s probably safe to say he won’t.