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Comeback Cougs: BYU overcomes 25-point deficit to advance over Iona in NCAA Tournament

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  • IQ92 hi, UT
    March 14, 2012 12:26 a.m.

    Wild, nearly unbelievable! Brave move by Rose to sub Harrison for the frenetically playing guard.

    P.S. Anyone know how many games the Cougs fell behind early this year? Does the team tend to start flat or too hyped?

  • Independence Is Bliss San Jose, CA
    March 14, 2012 12:28 a.m.

    AMAZING!!! Glad I got to witness history. Let's say it again: Largest comeback in NCAA tourney HISTORY! What a night.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2012 12:53 a.m.

    A great comeback win.

    15 minutes of terrible coaching by Rose. 25 minutes of good coaching by Rose.

    25 minutes of good defense. 25 minutes of atrocious shooting by a team that didn't belong in the first four.

    15 minutes of lights out shooting by the underdog. 25 minutes of solid low post execution that should have been the obvious game plan from the beginning against the smallest team in the tourney.

    This was a strange win. Cougar fans should be extremely excited by the comeback victory but extremely thankful that Rose's approach to the game didn't cost them a victory against a team that had no business being in the game from minute one. At least he made the adjustments and got the amazing comeback win.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    March 14, 2012 12:56 a.m.

    Can't this BYU team win a game early in the game? It would have been kinder for the BYU team to have killed their fans outright than put their fans hearts and bladders on that 55 point rollercoaster ride.

  • moabite98 Moab, UT
    March 14, 2012 12:58 a.m.

    Actually, with the win over Iona, the Cougars advance to the FIRST round of the NCAA tournament, since it was essentially a play-in game.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    March 14, 2012 5:22 a.m.

    As much as I dislike BYU, kudos to them!!

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    March 14, 2012 6:09 a.m.

    Wow!

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    March 14, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    Not to take away from the cougs great victoy, but the other thing is that it appeared Iona just ran out of gas -- couldn't maintain the frenetic pace of the first 15 minutes.

  • Pugman TREMONTON, UT
    March 14, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    Nicely done BYU. Way to hang in there and keep pressing. Equally impressive was the first 15 minutes by Iona, great speed and quickness, it was hard for the Cougars to adapt. Now my concern...I hope the NCAA dosen't launch an investigation into the victory last night. I'm pretty sure at halftime in an attempt to get another Pac 10 team into the tournament, the Iona team was kidnapped by the Utes who scored their customarily 17 points in a half giving BYU an chance to come back.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    March 14, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    Its about time Damarcus Harrison finally got some playing time. I like Zylstra but he was a major liability on defense. The guy he was supposed to guard kept hitting wide open threes in the first half, each time Brock was unable to keep up. Things began to change after Harrison got in the game. That was a smart move by Coach Rose.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    March 14, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    An amazing game. I've never seen a worse half of basketball that what BYU played the first half, until Iona equaled it in the 2nd! This game speaks volumes of the "never say die" mentality of the team. Well done, Cougs. We survive the play another day!!

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    March 14, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    No one has mentioned this, but I noticed that the second half had far less shooting by these awful guards. Look at the box score and we can see just how badly they shoot. I was screaming at my PC for them to quit shooting in favor of Hartsock and Davies, and I was surprised that for the first time this season Coach Rose actually heard my screams and took my suggestion. It was a great comeback and the whole team has to be credited with the comeback - the awful shooters for getting the ball to the great 3nd, and credit to the 3 scorers. Good move to lessen Zylstra's floor time. Great decision Coach! Congratulations BYU.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    March 14, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Kind reminds me of the "blind squirrel" story.

  • SCCougar LEXINGTON, SC
    March 14, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    @So Cal: Unless you don't watch a lot of bball, this isn't close to a 'bad' half. All things considered BYU did score 40 points and were able to make a few runs. To me it wasn't so much a bad half as it was that IONA played out of their minds. 40 points is right on BYUs avg. but 55 for IONA is well above their avg even thought they are the top team in scoring offense. BYU's D couldn't keep up but it was far from a bad 1st half. IONA woulda been up on anyone with the way they played.

  • JoeCoug OREM, UT
    March 14, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    The keys were switching to zone defense and using Cusick to bring up the ball. I like Carlino, but he seemed to have a tough time (5 turnovers). Cusick is a solid ballhandler and plays with a lot of poise. I believe Rose should stick with zone D throughout, unless they start getting burned.

    What a GREAT game. I really enjoyed it, though I could have screamed in the first half. I agree with other posters that our bigs should be the focus, and 3s should be launched only when we're doubled/tripled on the block. There were times when Davies made some great passes out of the double/triple team situations.

    Good luck Thursday! Marquette is good, but I believe we can beat them if we play well. "Heart"sock is the man.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 14, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    Three reasons for the victory:

    * Iona wore out
    * great coaching by Rose
    * the team has heart
    * no WCC refs

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 14, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    I'm not surprized that Obama wouldn't stick around to watch BYU play.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    March 14, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    It's Jimmer time!

  • j7b6h Provo, UT
    March 14, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Gotta keep mentioning one unsung hero: Craig Cusick. What a difference he made. Think of his line--26 minutes, 8 assists, 2 steals, and only 1 turnover. Unforgettable game.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Honor Code- Sorry, no one cares.

  • JP Chandler, AZ
    March 14, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Two amazing moments:
    1) BYU's comeback win. Fantastic!
    2) I "Liked" one of HonorCode's posts. That's a first.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    March 14, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    I was impressed with how well Davies adjusted in the second half to all that attention he got every time he caught the ball. They were bound and determined to keep him from winning for BYU. Somehow they forgot about Hartsock.

    What a one-two punch BYU has down low.

    If the long-ball shooters could ever get their touch back, BYU could go somewhere in this tournament.

    Maybe Harrison's production can help him to maintain confidence and repeat against Marquette.

    It's obvious that both Harrison and Winder can play defense against quick guards. Hope the coach learned from that with respect to who he starts against Marquette. BYU can't get down double digits against that team and expect to come back.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    March 14, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    moabite98
    Moab, UT
    "Actually, with the win over Iona, the Cougars advance to the FIRST round of the NCAA tournament, since it was essentially a play-in game."

    ===

    Actually, if you run over to the NCAA site you can see that the NCAA has the "First Four" as the First Round and games Thursday and Friday as the Second Round...

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    March 14, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Actually, as much as many of us to include myself prior to last night would like to think, the first 4 teams to play are completely in the tournament. The first round is very much a legitimate part of the tournament as I would reckon is made point blank potato head language obvious that the seeds are not 16 as was hitherto done before. Plus, could you ask for a better first round than was witnessed last night? Argue all you want but before you do go to the brackets page of whatever sports source you prefer and see for yourself in very clean and clear English that the games tomorrow and beyond are 2nd round and beyond. 1st round is in fact tournament whether we like it or not. Mahalo.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    March 14, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    What a game last night! I was surprised that Iona could shoot as well as they did in the first half. It is hard to be that consistent for a whole game and the first person who gets credit is Coach Rose's move to go to a zone defense which forced Iona to take bad shots. Next the fighting attitude of the whole team who when down by 25 rose up to the challenge and didn't give up. I don't think we can beat Marquette but I would love an upset if it did happen!! Way to go Cougs!!

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    March 14, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    I will admit that during that first half I wasn't very confident. But the second half was amazing. Seriously Dave Rose is a heck of a coach. Clearly he had a great speach and or he made some increadable adjustments to the game plan that made all the difference. Oh and you can't forget the kids for executing the new game plan.

    Looking forward to Thursday!

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    March 14, 2012 10:43 a.m.

    @ Veritas, you really need to quit including factual information in your posts. It makes others look bad when combating facts with fantasy.

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    March 14, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    moabite98
    Moab, UT
    Actually, with the win over Iona, the Cougars advance to the FIRST round of the NCAA tournament, since it was essentially a play-in game.

    Actually you are incorrect, the games starting on Thursday are considered 2nd round games.

  • Uncle Rico Coug AMERICAN FORK, UT
    March 14, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    Aside from the great play of Hartsock & Davies the key to the win was using Cusick at the point. He provided better decision making than Carlino--who has really been rushing things too much the last part of the season. In addition, Harrison and Winder provided a real spark in hustle and athleticism to match Iona. Of course due to great coaching to make those changes and to go to the zone. Nice job Cougs!

  • Paul H West Valley, UT
    March 14, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    I called my daughter (a BYU fan) before the game and predicted misery for BYU fans. I was right... for the first half. They couldn't have been feeling very comfortable during much of the second half as well.
    When they got within 10 I still had many doubts. At the end of the game my jaw was ready to drop.
    That's one that will not be soon forgotten. I think they amazed themselves.
    Congrats to you cougar fans.

  • 112 Pack Spokane, WA
    March 14, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    A tell of two halfs. Great win and Congrats Cougar Nation. What's good for BYU is good for the WCC.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    March 14, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    Interesting sub-plot.

    It was reported after the game that in the two games last night, all four of the great haves were played at the North rim.

    Obama was sitting under the South rim.

    ...cute...

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 14, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    The spirit of Jimmer is alive.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    March 14, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    Desperate U

    VCU's 2011 NCAA Tournament Record - 5-1

    Defeated USC, 59-46
    Defeated Georgetown, 74-56
    Defeated Purdue, 94-76
    Defeated Florida State, 72-71
    Defeated Kansas, 71-61
    Lost to Butler, 70-62

    It doesn't matter one iota what you call the rounds. VCU's first win in the 2011 tournament counted just as much as VCU's last win in the 2011 tournament.

    Bottom Line:

    BYU is 1-0 in the 2012 NCAA tournament, with a win over a team that the NCAA selection committee to be BETTER than then regular season champion of the "conference of chumpions."

    Trying to minimize that with round name semantics just proves how desperate the hill trolls are.

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    March 14, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    Congratulations Cougars!

    It's too bad our friends on the hill are so blindly jealous, that they can't accept what is so obvious to the rest of the nation - that regardless of "round", this was a great NCAA tournament comeback!

    I do understand the desperation though, when your rival has won more NCAA tournament games THIS WEEK, than U have won in the last SEVEN YEARS!

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    March 14, 2012 10:32 p.m.

    Jake2010 said:
    Actually, as much as many of us to include myself prior to last night would like to think, the first 4 teams to play are completely in the tournament. The first round is very much a legitimate part of the tournament as I would reckon is made point blank potato head language obvious that the seeds are not 16 as was hitherto done before. Plus, could you ask for a better first round than was witnessed last night? Argue all you want but before you do go to the brackets page of whatever sports source you prefer and see for yourself in very clean and clear English that the games tomorrow and beyond are 2nd round and beyond. 1st round is in fact tournament whether we like it or not. Mahalo.

    Only a matter of time before it expands to 96 teams. All in the name of $$$. The NIT will go away and become a preseason only tournament.