William Lee's jumper with 24 seconds left gave Alabama-Birmingham the lead for good, as the 14th-seeded Blazers upset third-seeded Iowa State, 60-59, in second-round action of the NCAA Tournament.
Lee ended with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Robert Brown scored a game-high 21 points to lead UAB (20-15), which moved on to the third round to face either sixth-seeded SMU or 11th-seeded UCLA.
Monte Morris scored 15 points to lead Iowa State (25-9), which got off to a quick start but failed to hold on to a lead and saw its recent run of good luck come to an end.
The Cyclones entered the NCAA Tournament having won five straight games, including three in a row to capture the Big 12 Conference Tournament, where they trailed by double-digits in every game.
Down 51-49 after Brown tipped in a rebound with 5:14 left, the Cyclones scored the next six points to finally build a lead at 55-51. Georges Niang's two free throws with 3:13 on the clock ended the run, giving Iowa State the largest lead of the half by either team.
During the spurt, the Blazers struggled from the field, hitting just 1-of-7 field goal attempts dating back to the 7:12 mark.
However, strong defense down the stretch gave UAB a chance. Lee's basket with 1:36 left drew the Blazers within 55-53. Then, after forcing Iowa State into a shot clock violation with exactly one minute left, Brown came out of a timeout and drained a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left for a slim 56-55 edge.
The trey ended an 0-for-9 drought from beyond the arc for UAB.
Morris answered with a jumper with 39 seconds left to give Iowa State the lead, but Lee got it back with jumper 15 seconds later.
Niang then had a shot blocked with 13 seconds left and fouled Lee, who hit both free throws with 12 seconds to play for a 60-57 edge.
The Cyclones had a chance to tie the game, but Naz Long's 3-pointer with four seconds left rimmed out and Morris' tip in with 7/10ths of a second remaining wasn't enough as UAB escaped with the upset.