They'd tied the game, forcing overtime, and would eventually win in double OT to complete the most bewildering comeback in the history of March Madness.
No one else would have.
On the inbound pass, Texas A&M; trapped a Panther by the baseline again.
Led by Alex Caruso's 25 points and 22 more from Danuel House in the second half and overtimes, the third-seeded Aggies (28-8) rallied from 12 points down with 44 seconds remaining in regulation - 10 down with less than 30 seconds - to defeat the Panthers 92-88 in double overtime on Sunday night. Then Texas A&M; put together the most unthinkable, seemingly impossible last-minute comebacks in ever. And lest we forget, the North Carolina State team that wound up beating Houston for the 1983 NCAA title trailed Pepperdine - coached by Jim Harrick - by six points with 24 seconds remaining in Round 1 and saw Dane Suttle, an 83.5 percent foul shooter, miss the front end twice.
"We weren't ready to be done", Caruso said. "It seemed like every shot that he had that we needed, he stepped up and made it. And it's not that easy to do, especially with the defense leaning on you and targeting you".
While the Aggies shared the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with perennial power Kentucky and lost to the Wildcats in overtime in the SEC tournament, the Panthers were only the fourth-best team in the Missouri Valley Conference before winning their league tournament. Instead of launching low-percentage jumpers, the Aggies drove into the lane for quick baskets.
The Aggies spent almost an entire game frustrated by poor shooting while watching Northern Iowa out-perform and out-execute them to within an eyelash of elimination.
"We played the game the right way, even at the end", said Texas A&M; coach Billy Kennedy, who admitted afterward he would need time to wrap his head around what had transpired. "(I) still really don't know what happened".
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-Northern Iowa inbounds the ball and calls timeout.
The first overtime was a festival of offensive brilliance and competitive toughness, each team stuffing 12 points into the five minutes before the Panthers' Paul Jesperson, the halfcourt-shot hero of Friday night's victory over Texas, tried to repeat that play on his team's final possession. He'll lose Washpun, Matt Bohannon and Jesperson but the rest of his roster is going to have this game on its mind for a long time. Jalen Jones steals the ball and slams it home. And then Northern Iowa happened. These two meet as part of the West Region today from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Rex Plfueger's only basket made the difference. Now, the Panthers will take on Texas A&M; on Sunday with a chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Friday, Northern Iowa won its NCAA tournament opener with a miracle. House scored eight in the first overtime for Texas A&M;.
Jesperson grudgingly relived the closing minute of the second half. But Gilder and Anthony Collins blanketed Washpun near the corner. Texas A&M; made some great as Wes day, they had some great individual plays. "Just one play", Morgan said. "We just didn't have enough".
Northern Iowa: Welcome to the club.
Guard Jeremy Morgan scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Northern Iowa (23-13). Obviously, there's Paul's shot and the fight we gave today.
And the belief. Which never wavered.