Sweet 16 Showdown With UCONN Looms For Cyclones
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State (28-7, 11-7) will face Connecticut (28-8) Friday in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Cyclones and Huskies will tip at 6:25 p.m. (CT) with the game being televised by TBS.
Where: New York, N.Y. - Madison Square Garden (17,731)
When: March 28, 6:25 p.m. (CT)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Learfield
Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Color)
Talent: Verne Lundquist (PxP), Bill Raftery (Color); Allie LaForce (Reporter)
Webcast: March Madness Live
Live Stats: Live stats will be available at NCAAsports.com
Live Blog: Due to NCAA rules no live blog will be available. Thanks for participating all season.
- ISU (28-7) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000 and the fourth time in school history with a win Sunday against North Carolina. The Cyclones are making their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance and third-straight under Fred Hoiberg. It is just the second time in school history that ISU has made three tournaments in a row (95-97). Hoiberg has 90 career wins, which makes him the winningest coach in the first four seasons at ISU (Larry Eustachy, 84).
- The Cyclones beat North Carolina despite playing without sophomore Georges Niang (All-Big 12 Third Team), who broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot against N.C. Central. He averaged 20.4 points in the five games prior to suffering the injury.
- Like ISU, the Cyclones’ last three opponents have been coached by one of their former players.
- Third-seeded Iowa State, which is 10-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament as the higher seeded team, will face 7th-seeded Connecticut Friday at 6:25 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. ISU is 1-2 all-time at Madison Square Garden, most recently falling to Rutgers (84-81, OT) in the semifinals of the 2004 NIT Tournament. In 1987, ISU lost to Florida before beating New Mexico in the Preseason NIT.
- Iowa State has won six games in a row, all against teams that made the NCAA Tournament.
- Melvin Ejim has been named the Big 12 Player of the Year and a second-team All-American by the USBWA. He is the first Cyclone to be named Big 12 POY since Jamaal Tinsley (2001). He is leading the conference averaging 18.1 points, up 6.8 ppg from last season. The last Cyclone to lead the conference in scoring was Marcus Fizer (1999, 2000). Ejim is the only player from a BCS conference averaging at least 18 pts, eight rebounds while also shooting at least 50 percent from the field and 34 percent behind the arc.
- Ejim is a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American, joining Fred Hoiberg as the only first-team members in school history. No first-team pick has led the Big 12 in scoring. Ejim is the fourth player in Big 12 history to score 1,500 points and grab 1,000 career rebounds.
- Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player DeAndre Kane hit the game winner against UNC with 1.6 seconds left. He has scored 20+ points in six of the last 10 games. Kane is shooting a career-best 39.4 percent behind the arc (previous: 31.8, 2010-11). He has more than 2,000 career points, 700 rebounds and 600 assists.
- Freshman Monté Morris made his first start on Feb. 3 at Oklahoma State. He is currently on pace to break the NCAA record with a 5.0 assist-turnover ratio. In conference play, his a/to ratio was 6.9.
- ISU is leading the Big 12 and is fifth nationally in scoring (83.2). The Cyclones share and protect the ball as well as anyone in the country, dishing out 18.5 assists (1st in nation) and posting a 1.75 assist/turnover ratio (2nd in nation, 1st in Big 12).
Recap from Second and Third Rounds
- Iowa State beat North Carolina Central and North Carolina in San Antonio to advance to its fourth Sweet 16 and first since 2000.
- The Cyclones averaged 89 points in the two games, more than any other team in the tournament.
- ISU suffered a huge setback in the second round win against N.C. Central when Georges Niang suffered a broken bone in his right foot. Niang scored a game-high 24 points against the Eagles before leaving the game. He will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery on Tuesday.
- The Cyclones scored 85 points against North Carolina despite losing Niang’s 16.7 points per game two days earlier.
- Iowa State shot 48.8 percent on 3-point field goals in the two games, connecting on 21-of-43 attempts. Naz Long was 5-of-12 and Monté Morris hit 4-of-5 from long range.
- DeAndre Kane beat the North Carolina defense for a game-winning layup with 1.6 seconds left. ISU erased an eight-point deficit in the last 4:23, outscoring UNC 17-7 in that stretch. The Cyclones were 8-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-4 beyond the arc (Long 3-for-3, Morris 1-for-1) in the last 5:15.
- Melvin Ejim shot 61.5 percent from the field in the first two games and Dustin Hogue shot 60 percent.
Iowa State NCAA Tournament History
- Iowa State earned its 16th NCAA Tournament berth in school history with a No. 3 seed in the East Region.
- Iowa State is 16-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. ISU is 4-2 in the NCAA Tournament under Hoiberg.
- Iowa State is a No. 3 seed for the first time in school history.
- Iowa State has made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2012, 2013 & 2014) for the second time in school history (1994-97). ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg was on the 1994-95 team.
- The farthest the Cyclones have advanced in the NCAA Tournament is the Final Four in 1944.
- ISU, which was one of eight teams to qualify in 1944, won its first game vs. Pepperdine to advance to the semifinals.
- The farthest Iowa State has advanced in the NCAA Tournament since the current 64/65/68-team field, which began in 1985, is the Elite Eight in 2000.
- Iowa State has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen three times (1986, 1997, 2014), Elite Eight once (2000) and the Final Four once (1944).
- The highest seed ISU has ever earned is a No. 2 seed (2000 and 2001).
- The Cyclones have won their first game in eight of their last nine NCAA Tournament appearances.
- In three of ISU’s last five NCAA Tournament appearances, the Cyclones lost to the eventual national champion in their home state: Michigan State (2000, Auburn Hills, Mich.), North Carolina (2005, Charlotte, N.C.) and Kentucky (2012, Louisville, Ky.).
- ISU has had two players lead the NCAA Tournament in scoring average (minimum three games played) during their respective careers...Dedric Willoughby averaged 24.7 ppg in 1997 (three games) and Marcus Fizer led all players in 2000 with a 20.0 ppg average in four games played.
- Individual NCAA Tournament records: Points- 34 by Dedric Willoughby (vs. UCLA in 1997), 34 by Lafester Rhodes (vs. Georgia Tech in 1988); Rebounds- 20 by Jared Homan (vs. North Carolina in 2005); Assists- 11 by Jamaal Tinsley (vs. UCLA in 2000); Blocks- 8 by Kelvin Cato (vs. Illinois State in 1997); Field Goals- 14 by Lafester Rhodes (vs. Georgia Tech in 1988); 3-Pointers- 8 by Dedric Willoughby (vs. UCLA in 1997).-
- The first time two teams from the same conference played in the NCAA Tournament in the same year was 1944 when ISU and Missouri from the Big Six were among the 8 teams chosen.
- Entering this season, only 15 times in school history had a player 600 points in a season. Ejim and Kane need just two points each to join that distinction.
- Ejim and Kane would become just the second group of teammates to accomplish that feat in the same season, joining Jeff Grayer (811) and Lafester Rhodes (720) in 1988.
- Georges Niang was closing in on the mark as well before his injury prematurely ended his season with 567 points.
- Since the regular season ended, Iowa State has been the definition of clutch. While winning the Big 12 Tournament and first two games of the NCAA Tournament, ISU has shot 85.7 percent (24-of-28) from the field and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from behind the arc in the last five minutes of games.
- Naz Long has made 5-of-5 from long range in the last five minutes of the last five games, including 2-for-2 against UNC.
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