At times, it was like pulling teeth, but Tennessee was able to outlast Colgate, 77-70, Friday afternoon to advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee gets Iowa in the Second Round, which fought tooth-and-nail to defeat Cincinnati early in the day.
There’s no need for much filling in this recap, as Colgate kept the game minty fresh to the end.
Though they trailed by 16 in the first half, the Raiders went on a 22-6 run midway through the second half to take the lead with under 12 minutes to go. And it happened without leading scorer Rapolas Ivanauskas, who went 0-4 and didn’t play for much of the game thanks to, of all things, a contact lens issue. Watching from the bench must have been like a root canal.
So with Ivanauskas sidelined, Colgate had its brush with success as America would brace for the upset. The run crested on a three from Tucker Richardson with 11:37 to go, putting the Raiders up 52-50. The Vols put a dentin the fun after that, answering with an 8-2 spurt and never trailing again.
Colgate hung around, but Admiral Schofield hit back-to-back threes from the corner to put the game away. Nevertheless, it was a fun fluo-ride for Colgate.
Sophomore Jordan Burns hit seven threes for Colgate and scored 29 points.
Don’t worry, mid-major fans. UC Irvine knocked off Kansas State, filling the Cinderella cavity in your hearts.