Iowa senior Eric May has a chance to go out as a champion in the NIT title game against Baylor.
NEW YORK CITY (KWWL) -
It was just one shot. But it was the dagger that sent Iowa to Thursday's NIT Final.
"Eric's basket was the one. That was it," said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "When that went in, it was over. We were up nine with under a minute."
"We were going crazy," said Iowa freshman Mike Gesell. "The whole bench was. I think all our fans whether they were watching on TV. They love Eric May."
Senior Eric May is no stranger to hitting big shots. Five years ago he nailed this buzzer beater to send Dubuque Wahlert to a state championship.
Half a decade later, this shot gave May the opportunity to write his own ending to his Hawkeye career.
"I want to go out with a championship for my last game," said May. "Like I said, not a lot of guys get to do that, and I'm playing really confident now, just like everybody is."
The shot capped off a great performance from the Hawkeyes in a 71-60 win over Maryland. Devyn Marble had his third straight game of more than 20 points as Iowa is eyeing and NIT tournament championship.
"It would be tremendous for these kids, and for our program, to have the opportunity to continue to play on national television and win a national championship," said McCaffery.
For Eric May, in four years at Iowa, he never made it to the NCAA tournament, but on Thursday, he has the chance to go out as a champion.
"That's the goal of mine to get a championship. We put ourselves in that position by playing together, playing hard, and playing with that mindset to win a championship."
Iowa will face Baylor in the NIT championship game. The Bears beat BYU 76-70 in the other semifinal to improve to 22-14. The Hawks are 25-12. That game is at 8 o'clock Thursday night on ESPN.
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