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Brigham Young Beats Iona 78-72

Iona v Brigham Young

in the first round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Credit

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DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Brigham Young University pulled off the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history on a wild opening night.

Noah Hartsock scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and the Cougars rallied from 25 points down to beat Iona 78-72 in the first round Tuesday night.

Brandon Davies added 18 points and Damarcus Harrison 12 for the 14th-seeded Cougars (26-8), who advanced to play third-seeded Marquette on Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

It marked the biggest comeback in an NCAA tournament game. Previously, the largest deficit overcome was 22 points in 2001 when Duke fought back to beat Maryland 95-84 in the national semifinals.

It was the second incredible turnaround of the night in Dayton. With President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron watching, Western Kentucky came back from a 16-point deficit in the final 5 minutes to beat Mississippi Valley State 59-58.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)