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NCAA tournament 2012: BYU, Western Ky. comebacks highlight first play-in night

Both BYU and Western Kentucky overcame large second half deficits to down Iona and Mississippi Valley State, respectively, in Tuesday night's 'First Four' NCAA tournament games in Dayton, Ohio.

By Staff / March 14, 2012

Brigham Young forward Brandon Davies (L) and Noah Hartsock (34) celebrate after a basket against Iona during the second half of their NCAA men's college basketball tournament game in Dayton, Ohio, March 13.

Matt Sullivan/REUTERS

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President Obama and his special guest British prime minister David Cameron were in attendance Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio for the first NCAA tournament play-in game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State.

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The two leaders saw the Hilltoppers overcome a 16-point second half deficit to edge the Delta Devils, 59-58. At that moment, it was the biggest margin overcome in the final five minutes of an NCAA tournament game in the event's history, according to the NCAA.

The President and Prime Minister left after the first game to return to Washington. Too bad for the 'First Hoopster', for he missed a record-setting comeback in the nightcap. BYU, behind Noah Hartsock's 23 points, came back from 25 points down to defeat Iona, 78-72. The Cougars will meet Marquette in Thursday's second round in Louisville, Kentucky.

The previous largest deficit overcome mark was held by Duke, which came back from a 21-point deficit to beat Maryland in a 2001 NCAA national semifinal contest, according to the Washington Post.

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