IOWA CITY, Iowa (Ticker) -- B.J. Elder ended the season of Steve Alford's team, but he may have saved the Iowa coach from a tough situation.
Elder's jumper in the closing seconds lifted Georgia Tech to a 79-78 victory over Iowa for a place in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
The loss denied Iowa (17-14) a matchup with Texas Tech, which Georgia Tech will meet instead. That would have pitted Alford against Bob Knight, his former coach at Indiana. The relationship between Alford and Knight deteriorated when both were coaching in the Big Ten Conference.
The Hawkeyes, who trailed by 18 points in the first half, took a 78-77 lead on Chauncey Leslie's layup with 24 seconds left. Leslie scored a career-high 27 points.
Georgia Tech (16-14) called a timeout with six seconds to go and Elder was able to get open and nail his jumper for the lead.
"There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to give him the ball," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "We knew exactly what we wanted to do."
Freshman Chris Bosh, who may opt to jump into the NBA draft, led Georgia Tech with 17 points and nine rebounds. Bosh made 10-of-13 from the line.
Marvin Lewis and Ed Nelson each scored 12 points and Is'mail Muhammad added 11 for Georgia Tech, which shot 46 percent (26-of-56). But the Yellow Jackets took advantage of a pair of Hawkeyes fouling out and converted 22-of-30 foul shots.
"I'm happy for the young guys in the locker room," Hewitt said. "I hope the NIT takes into consideration that we are in school and how hard it would be if we had a one-day turnaround and had to play on the road. Georgia Tech is a tough academic institution and our guys will go to class tomorrow."
Elder had made just 3-of-12 shots before connecting on the winning basket and finished with eight points. Freshman Jarrett Jack handed out nine assists.
Georgia Tech bolted out to an 8-1 lead and extended the lead to 36-18 on Anthony McHenry's layup with 7:41 left before halftime. The Hawkeyes scored 10 straight points to get back in the contest and closed to within 44-37 at halftime.
Iowa scored the first seven points of the second half to tie the game on Leslie's layup with 18:44 to go.
The Yellow Jackets held an 18-8 rebounding advantage in the second half and knocked off its second straight Big Ten school after defeating Ohio State in the first round.
Brody Boyd scored 17 points and Sean Sonderleiter added 13 for Iowa, which came off a 54-53 win at Iowa State in the first round.
"This was similar to Friday's game, only we came up on the other end," Alford said. "I was very pleased how we played after such an emotional game on Friday."
The Yellow Jackets, who start three freshmen, won for only the second time in 12 road games. Last season, Tech was hammered by Iowa here, 85-67, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.