Nevada beat Cincinnati in the NCAA tournament’s round of 32 on Sunday in Nashville. The final score was 75-73, the result of one of the greatest tournament comebacks ever (and Nevada’s second huge comeback in as many games).
At one point, Nevada trailed by 22 points. With just more than 14 minutes to play, the deficit 59-41. The Wolf Pack got to work from there and tied the game on a Caleb Martin three-pointer with 54 seconds left. Nevada’s game-tying run was 32-14 in 13:22.
BUCKLE UP!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2018
WE HAVE A TIED GAME IN NASHVILLE! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/KAZClbLExg
After a defensive stop, the Wolf Pack took their first lead of the game with nine seconds left on a Josh Hall put-back floater. That stood up as the game-winning bucket.
NEVADA TAKES THE LEAD!!!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2018
After being down 22, @NevadaHoops leads for the first time tonight, 75-73 with 9.1 seconds left!!#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/9tZpwASO1y
This was the final stop that sealed it:
WHAT A COMEBACK!@NevadaHoops overcomes a 22-point deficit to defeat Cincinnati and advance to the #Sweet16!#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/4bI6nJ3G5e— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2018
It’s the second-biggest comeback win in tournament history, the NCAA says:
Nevada trailed by 22 points and won. It marks the second-biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history, behind BYU's rally from 25 down to beat Iona in the 2012 First Four. (Duke also won when trailing by 22, beating Maryland in the 2001 Final Four.) #MarchMadness— David Worlock (@DavidWorlock) March 19, 2018
Let’s look at the Pack’s win probability in graphic form:
Oh my God pic.twitter.com/GqKXyp4Kd5— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 19, 2018
Nevada’s last two games have revealed a flare for the dramatic.
Nevada, the South Region’s No. 7 seed, beat Texas in overtime in the round of 64. The Pack trailed by 14 in the second half of that game, so mounting a furious comeback wasn’t some new thing for them. This team might have a bit of a Cinderella feeling given its comebacks and that it comes from the Mountain West, but the Pack are really good. They’ve demonstrated that they can hang with and beat some of the country’s top teams.
Cincinnati, the No. 2., had a great season behind one of the best defenses in the country. The Bearcats had no trouble in a 15-point opening-round win against 15th-seeded Georgia State, and for a while, it looked they looked like they’d have a walk to the Sweet 16.
Nevada had different ideas. The Wolf Pack will play No. 11 Loyola Chicago in a regional semifinal next weekend. This tournament is wide-open.