By Nick Veronica
Texas A&M set an NCAA comeback record Sunday by rallying from a 12-point deficit in the final minute to beat Northern Iowa in the NCAA Tournament, 92-88, in double overtime.
The previous record for largest final-minute deficit overcome to win the game – 11 points – was set by UNLV in 2005 and matched by Canisius in December.
Here are the previous marks from the NCAA record book (which hasn’t been updated yet to include Canisius):
How did this happen?
The Aggies’ comeback turned out to be very different from Canisius’ comeback, which was fueled by missed free throws and clutch 3-pointers.
Jeremy Morgan hit two free throws to put Northern Iowa up, 69-57, with 44 seconds to play. Then the wheels fell off. Texas A&M ripped off a 14-2 run over a span of 31 seconds (!) before UNI missed a potential game-winning shot just before the buzzer.
The biggest factor in the Panthers’ demise was turnovers. They blew a 12-point lead without missing a single free throw! The complete play-by-play is here, but here are the highlights:
Over the final 44 seconds:
- Northern Iowa committed four turnovers
- Texas A&M went 6-for-7 from the field, and got the rebound on its only miss
- Danuel House led A&M with five points while Admon Gilder, a freshman, scored four and had two steals
Texas A&M made the only free throw taken over the stretch, on a traditional 3-point play from Alex Caruso. Jalen Jones added a bucket and had a steal for A&M while House hit the only 3-pointer. Klint Carlson scored UNI’s only points on a dunk.
Caruso hit a jumper to tie the game with eight seconds left in the first overtime before the Aggies got separation in the second overtime. Third-seeded Texas A&M advanced to play 2-Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 while the Cinderella run ended for 11-Northern Iowa in an epic collapse.Follow @NickVeronica