Brandon Davies Makes Emphatic Return to College Basketball Main Stage, Leads BYU to 25-Point Comeback Win Over Iona

Brandon Davies Makes Emphatic Return to College Basketball Main Stage, Leads BYU to 25-Point Comeback Win Over IonaEditors note: At the conclusion of each day of the men’s NCAA tournament, NESN.com staff will pick that day’s “Biggest Winner.”

Brandon Davies, BYU

After being suspended for the end of the 2011 season following accusations that he broke Brigham-Young school rules, Davies chose to sit by his teammates on the Cougars bench during the NCAA tournament.  

Davies was unable to play in the tournament and had to sit idly by as 2011 NCAA National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette and his teammates were bounced from the tournament in the Sweet 16. The reality was heartbreaking for the sophomore forward, who was so vital to BYU’s 32-5 record on the season. 

This year, though, Davies was given the chance to redeem himself. The junior averaged 15 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the year for the Cougars, increasing his totals from last season and leading BYU back to the NCAAs for another run in the tournament.

On Tuesday night, BYU squared off against Iona’s high-octane attack and appeared completely overwhelmed throughout the entire first half. Iona jumped out to a big 25-point lead on the Cougars midway through the first half, behind a frustrating defensive press and an up-tempo offensive set. The Gaels headed into halftime with a 55-40 advantage over BYU.

But something clicked for Dave Rose‘s bunch coming out of the locker room, as the Cougars came out attacking and seemed much better prepared for Iona’s gameplan.

Davies was the catalyst for most of the night, dominating the interior paint and putting together one of the his best performances on the season. The 6-foot-10 forward from Provo, Utah — just down the road from BYU’s campus — lit up the scoreboard with 18 points and 15 rebounds as the sophomore’s play steadied a 15-point turnaround and an eventual 78-72 win for the Cougars. 

BYU’s magical run may in fact end with Tuesday’s amazing comeback, as a tough Marquette team is up next for the Cougars, but the win was something for BYU and even more so Davies to be proud of.

Photo of the Night

Brandon Davies Makes Emphatic Return to College Basketball Main Stage, Leads BYU to 25-Point Comeback Win Over Iona

Mississippi Valley State’s William Pugh threw down a ferocious slam in the No. 16 seed’s opening round game against Western Kentucky on Tuesday. He even ended up completely parallel with the rim to finish it off.

Sadly for MVSU, that might be the only highlight the team can take away from the game. They watched a 16-point lead in the last five minutes of the game dwindle before their eyes as WKU took the game 59-58. 

Highlight of the Night

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron stopped by to take in the NCAA opening round games in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday night.

Obama talked about some of his thoughts on the tournament as well as Harvard’s chances in the tournament this year.

Check out the video below to see all that Obama had to say.

NESN.com’s college basketball coverage is presented by Bovada.net.

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