6:40 PM ET, March 13, 2012
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
DAYTON, Ohio -- So many things happened in those 5 final, furious minutes that Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper had trouble taking it all in."Wow," he said, his face still flush with March emotion. "I don't know where to begin."How about with that finish?The only team with a losing record in the NCAA tournament got it started with a classic March comeback -- in front of a presidential audience, no less. T.J. Price's three-point play with 33 seconds to go completed the Hilltoppers' rally from a 16-point deficit over the last 5 minutes for a 59-58 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday night.
Medcalf: Hilltoppers Keep Fighting
Nobody expected Ray Harper to get the Hilltoppers here, but on their biggest stage, in front of the most prestigious audience members possible, Western Kentucky delivered in the clutch, writes Myron Medcalf. Blog
Anatomy of a Comeback
Western Kentucky put together a furious rally to overcome a late 16-point deficit, the largest comeback with less than 5 minutes left of an NCAA tournament game. The previous record was 15, by Illinois in its 90-89 OT win over Arizona in the 2005 Elite Eight.
Western Kentucky's Comeback
Final 4:51 vs. MVSU
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
SN: Amazing comebacks
Western Kentucky and BYU both had impressive comebacks in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, but which was better? Vote and discuss!
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) find their...(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||19-62 (.306)||22-61 (.361)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-16 (.125)||4-22 (.182)|
|FT Made-Attempted||19-33 (.576)||10-22 (.455)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||24 (0/0)|
|» Mar 13, 2012||WKU 59, @MVSU 58||Recap|
Western Kentucky trailed by 16 points (53-37) with 4:51 left but came back to beat Mississippi Valley State. The Hilltoppers' 16-point deficit is the largest overcome with less than 5 minutes left on the clock of a Men's Basketball Championship game. The previous record was 15, by Illinois in its 90-89 OT win over Arizona in the 2005 Elite 8.
Despite trailing by 16 with 4:51 remaining, Western Kentucky rallied back. The Hilltoppers outscored Mississippi Valley State by 17 down the stretch and became just the sixth team to win an NCAA Tournament game with a losing record in the regular season.[+]
Western Kentucky's Comeback - Final 4:51 vs MVSU
Western Kentucky's 28 turnovers are the most by a team in a tournament game since Tulsa turned it over 28 times in a Round of 64 loss in overtime to Louisville in 1996. No team had turned it over 28 times in a tournament win since Kansas turned it over 30 times in a Round of 64 win over Xavier in 1988.
ESPN Stats & Information