Cyclone Cy-Hawk Series Memories
AMES, Iowa- Iowa State and Iowa will battle in men's basketball for the 65th time tonight and most of the state will be watching. The basketball version of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series is now an excellent rivalry, producing memorable moments for both sides.
The series wasn't much of a rivalry early on, however. Iowa won 17 of the first 18 games from 1909 to 1920. After a couple of games in the mid-1930s, the series went dormant until it resumed as an annual competition beginning in the 1969-70 season.
By the end of the 1982-83 season, the Hawkeyes had totally dominated the series, owning a 28-7 record. The series finally became a rivalry in 1983-84. That was the year the Cyclones ended a five-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes in a program-changing, 76-72 double overtime win in Johnny Orr's fourth season at the helm.
Since that game, the series has been a toss-up, as Iowa State owns a slight edge at 15-14. Picking the most memorable Cyclone wins in the series is difficult, so cyclones.com is here to help. Listed below are the top-five Cyclone wins in the series since 1984, subject to debate, of course.
1. Fa La La Lafester! * Iowa State 102, Iowa 100 (OT) * Dec. 19, 1987
Scoring a school-record 54 points in a 102-100 overtime win against the No. 7-ranked team in the country, how can you top that? Well, that's what Lafester Rhodes did that night. The Cyclone senior had his coming-out party against the Hawkeyes, as Rhodes spent his first three years in Ames buried on the bench. Rhodes made shots from everywhere in a game which featured six future NBAers. Rhodes produced arguably the greatest stat line in school history: 20-31 FG, 5-8 3FG, 9-12 FT, 54 points, 14 rebounds, five assists. Rhodes also played all 45 minutes in one of the most memorable games in Cyclone history.
Famous quote: Iowa State head coach Johnny Orr
"My assistant Jim Hallihan told me that Lafester was tired and we needed to take him out of the game for a breather. I said, 'He's the only guy making shots, let him die out there.'"
2. Early "Hilton Magic" * Iowa State 76, Iowa 72 (2 OT) * Jan. 14, 1984
Many Cyclone fans feel the first glimpse of "Hilton Magic" started on Feb. 8, 1983 when the legendary Barry Stevens scored 40 points and hit the buzzer-beater to defeat No. 10 Missouri, 73-72 in overtime. The following season (1983-84) the Cyclones showed signs of relevancy on the collegiate basketball scene by making their first postseason berth in 40 years with an NIT appearance. A huge step toward the Cyclones reaching that goal was the 76-72 double overtime win over Iowa. Iowa had won the previous five meetings in the series and were coming off five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Things looked bleak for Iowa State in the first overtime, as Stevens, who scored 28 points, fouled out with 2:50 remaining. That's when a little-known sophomore point guard named Jeff Hornacek took over. Hornacek made a lay-up with 0:22 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game and force the second extra period. Hornacek finished the game with 12 points and 15 assists, which still ranks second all-time on the school's single-game assist chart.
Famous quote: Iowa head coach George Raveling
"This was a tragedy. I'd almost rather be dead than disappoint all the Iowa fans."
3. The Legend of John Neal * Iowa State 84, Iowa 76 * Jan. 21, 2004
Legends are created overnight, and the legend of John Neal was made instantly when the seldom-used walk-on came off the bench to spark a furious rally which led to an 84-76 Cyclone victory over Iowa in 2004. A native of Winterset, Iowa and a sophomore at the time, Neal was averaging 1.4 ppg prior to tip. Neal entered the game for the first time with five minutes remaining and the Cyclones down 68-63. Neal promptly knocked down a huge 3-pointer to cut the gap to 68-66. Four minutes later, the Cyclones were in the midst of a 17-2 run with a commanding 80-70 lead. In the middle of the run, Neal blew the roof off of Hilton Coliseum with his second 3-pointer to give the Cyclones a six-point lead. He made the most of his five minutes, going 2-of-2 from 3-point range and registering one steal, and for the first time in his career, was requested by the media in the postgame interview room.
Famous quote: Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan
"John Neal will never have to buy a beer in the state of Iowa ever again."
4. There is Justus * Iowa State 98, Iowa 84 * Dec. 14, 1991
Justus Thigpen was the instigator in Iowa State's 98-84 victory over No. 16 Iowa in 1991. The junior scored a then-career-high 28 points, as the Cyclones ended a three-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes in one of their most lopsided victories in the series. Thigpen had a lot of help from his supporting cast. The Iowa State starters combined for 90 of the 98 points, including 20 points from Howard Eaton and 18 points from freshman Julius Michalik. Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg was a freshman that year, tallying 11 points and nine assists. He also created a lasting memory for many Cyclone fans when he dunked over All-Big Ten center and future NBA first-rounder Acie Earl. Thigpen was later lauded as the Sports Illustrated Player of the Week for his performance.
Famous quote: Iowa State head coach Johnny Orr
"Justus was terrific. He shot the ball well, made the passes and came up with some steals. He just did it all."
5. Floyd's Debut * Iowa State 76, Iowa 63 * Dec. 10, 1994
Winning in Carver-Hawkeye Arena isn't easy. In fact, Iowa State is just 5-10 in games played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the series. However, Iowa State head coach Tim Floyd made it look easy in his Cy-Hawk Series debut, as the Cyclones recorded their largest margin of victory in Iowa City in a 76-63 rout in 1994. Iowa held a one-point lead at the half, but the Cyclones caught fire in the second period, shooting 60.9 percent from the floor after intermission. Loren Meyer posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds and The Mayor had 15 points behind four 3-pointers. Iowa State also received a valiant performance from its sixth-man Hurl Beechum, who scored 16 points on a perfect offensive night: 4-4 FG, 3-3 3FG, 5-5 FT.
Famous quote: Iowa State head coach Tim Floyd
"It was not a picnic, okay? We played with poise and for the first time this year we played with purpose."