MADISON, Wis. — Owen Skahill’s notifications starting blowing up at halftime of the Iowa-Wisconsin basketball game Thursday night.
And once Jordan Bohannon’s late 3-pointer helped the Hawkeyes to a stunning 59-57 victory, Skahill became an Internet hero.
Skahill is Iowa Sweatshirt Guy — a lone soul who wore bright gold in the sea of red-and-white in Wisconsin’s student section behind the basket where Bohannon hit his winning shot with 9 seconds left.
His outstretched arms just as Bohannon released the ball became an instant social-media meme.
“Cordell (Pemsl) got it, kicked it to Jordan, and I just threw my hands up, hoping it would go in — and it did,” Skahill said. “It was just crazy.”
A friend of a friend got him and four others the seats in enemy territory. Three of the five were Hawkeye fans, but Skahill – a 20-year-old junior at Wisconsin-Platteville, about an hour away — was the only one bold enough to wear gold.
His girlfriend, Kelsey Holland, talked him into it.
“She was, like, ‘Yeah, just do it,’” he said. “I (figured), ‘OK, yeah, what’s the worst that could happen?’ I’m kind of glad I did.”
A brother-in-law saw a pregame Twitter photo of Iowa Sweatshirt Guy that had gone viral and texted it to Skahill, who is studying accounting at UW-Platteville and attended Dubuque Wahlert — the same high school as Hawkeye freshman Pemsl.
“And it kind of blew up from there,” he said. “... Honestly, the student section wasn’t that bad. That was kind of surprising.”
Maybe the outcome had something to do with that.