Iowa Hawkeyes Coach Fran McCaffery Loses Composure in Loss

By Paul Kilgas
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Fran McCaffery may be the only person in the world that knows why he went berserk at the officials in the No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes‘ 75-71 loss in Madison, WI against the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers.

As you can see below, Iowa held a 41-39 lead midway through the second half in Madison when Badgers forward Nigel Hayes was fouled on a layup attempt. The Big Ten Network cut to commercial for the under-12 TV timeout, and Iowa’s head coach went to work:

McCaffery was assessed a double technical — one for his initial verbal onslaught, and another one after he made contact with an official — and was promptly ejected from the game. The Hawkeyes’ assistant coaches had to restrain McCaffery from turning into Iowa’s version of the Incredible Hulk, and after the Grateful Red (Wisconsin’s student section) gave McCaffery a warm sendoff, Wisconsin’s Ben Brust hit four consecutive free throws to give the Badgers a 43-39 lead before Hayes even attempted his free throws.

Go back and appreciate the pure, unadulterated rage emanating from McCaffery’s pores. Notice how he takes care to ensure that he keeps his suit coat on while he pinballs between coaches, players and referees. Savor the effort he makes to pursue the officials before trudging off the court towards solitary confinement. McCaffery knew by that point that the Big Ten Conference will be fine and possibly even suspend him, so he made sure to get his money’s worth out on the court.

Wisconsin outscored Iowa 36-30 after the double technical-ejection sequence, but four of those points came as a direct result of the maelstrom. It’s impossible to project the outcome of the game if McCaffery had avoided self-combustion, but those four points were ultimately the difference in the game.

Paul Kilgas is a Big 10 Conference writer for Follow him on Twitter @PaulKilgas, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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