The Hawkeyes’ locker room was obviously a very happy place after a 79-72 comeback victory over Cincinnati.
Iowa had four players in double figures, led by Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza. Those two players really carried the team as the black and gold survive and advance.
Here’s what some of the players had to say:
Joe Wieskamp, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds: “It felt great. All those hours in the gym. All the time by yourself with the trainers, all the different coaches. That’s what all that hard work is made for. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get here, but once you get here you continue to set new goals. Our first goal was to win the first game. We accomplished that, so obviously our goal is to win the next one and just keep fighting along.“ Luka Garza, who scored 20 points and added, seven rebounds: “I learn from guys like Jordan who step up in the biggest of moments. I think I’ve been around guys like that a lot in my career and I just feel confident in my abilities when the team comes to me and they want me to score, I think I’m gonna have a great chance at that.“ Jordan Bohannon, who had 13 points along with five rebounds and four assists: “We all knew that we were capable of doing this. We knew that freshman year wasn’t what we wanted or sophomore year, but we’ve kept battling. How hard we worked in-season, out of season, to get to this point it will help keeping us reach new heights. I know we have a lot more to accomplish and I know that we’re capable of doing that.“
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery was very proud and very emotional after the big win.
“You’re just thrilled for them,” McCaffery said. “To celebrate with your teammates in the locker room after a win in the NCAA tournament, there’s nothing better. You wanna continue to advance and you know you have to play really well and you have to beat a really good, well-coached team to do that. They really had to fight today and I think that’s always more rewarding.”
The Hawks advance to the round of 32 to play Tennessee at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Sunday at 11:10 a.m. With a win, Iowa would make its first Sweet 16 since 1999.