NCAA News Wire

McCaffrey to rejoin Iowa after son’s surgery

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Iowa coach Fran McCaffery returned to Dayton on Wednesday for the Hawkeyes’ first NCAA Tournament game in eight years after his son’s surgery in Iowa City, Iowa, to remove a thyroid tumor.

McCaffrey flew to Dayton with the team on Monday and then left Tuesday evening to be with his 13-year-old son, Patrick. After Wednesday morning’s surgery, he boarded a plane to return to Dayton for the 9:10 p.m. ET tipoff against Tennessee in a First Four game.

“Today’s surgery for my son went as planned,” McCaffery said in a statement. “Doctors will continue tests in the coming days to determine further treatment. Patrick was in good spirits after the operation.

“Our family would like to thank the surgeons who performed the operation and the doctors and nurses at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics who have helped treat Patrick during this process. The outpouring of support and encouragement Patrick and our family have received this past week has been overwhelming; Words cannot express how genuinely thankful we are to everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers.”

Iowa’s coaching staff led the players, who remembered Patrick McCaffrey by wearing #TeamPat shirts during last week’s Big Ten tournament, through a morning meeting and a light practice. The Hawkeyes (20-12) enter the NCAA Tournament having lost six of their past seven games.

The Iowa-Tennessee winner advances to a second-round Midwest Regional game on Friday against sixth-seeded Massachusetts.