The University of Iowa men’s basketball team lost at home Tuesday night against Michigan State, 71-69. It was a missed opportunity for the Hawkeyes to beat a national powerhouse and to solidify their spot as an elite team in the Big Ten.

But it was still a win.

If you happened to be in the crowd of 15,400 that night, as I was, you know what I’m talking about. The atmosphere was electric. It’s been a long time since I’ve been truly impressed with the crowd or atmosphere inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Lackluster crowds and dwindling performance on the court had cost the Hawkeyes a lot in recent years. It felt at times like the Iowa basketball program was slowly dying.

Tuesday night was a rebirth.

The stands were rocking. Fans were fully engaged. The sound was deafening. When Michigan State guard Keith Appling missed two straight free throws in the closing seconds of overtime, it was hard not to believe that the noise and atmosphere inside the arena had something to do with it.

After the game, Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said the atmosphere inside Carver reminded him of “Tom Davis days.”

“They got it going here,” Izzo said.

We sure do.