One of the remaining surprises among the NCAA Tournament field comes in Iowa State. The Cyclones limped into the tournament on a poor conference showing with a 7-11 record, but a 12-0 start to the season kept their resume strong enough to remain in the field.
- Record: 22-12 (7-11) | Conference: Big 12
- Head coach: T.J. Otzelberger, first season as Iowa State head coach (22-12), sixth season as head coach (121-75)
- Leading scorer: Izaiah Brockington (17.1 PPG)
- Leading rebounder: Izaiah Brockington (6.8 RPG)
- Assist leader: Tyrese Hunter (4.9 APG)
NCAA Tournament scores:
First Round vs. #6 LSU: W 59-54
Second Round vs. #3 Wisconsin: W 54-49
Shining Star: Izaiah Brockington. The senior guard has scored nearly one-third of the team’s points across the first two NCAA Tournament games.
X-Factor: Tyrese Hunter. The offense goes as he does, the freshman leads the team in assists and can play the role of a capable scorer as well.How Did Iowa State Make the NCAA Tournament?
Despite finishing seventh in the Big 12 with a 7-11 record, Iowa State found its way into the tournament while losing their final three games of the season including a first-round exit in the Big 12 Tournament to Texas Tech that left a small bit of wonder in how they would be seeded. Nine Quad 1 wins on their resume were plenty for them to find their way into the field and an #11 seed felt a bit low to some for a team that has so many signature victories.How Did Iowa State Advance to the Sweet 16?
The Cyclones have played incredibly well but a favorable sub-region certainly helped the cause in their Sweet 16 run. First-round opponent #6 LSU was basically coach-less following the firing of Will Wade while #3 Wisconsin felt primed for an upset as a team that ranked outside of the top 30 in KenPom. Iowa State has done well to make it this far, but they have had one of the easier paths to the second weekend among the remaining field.Iowa State Elite Eight Odds: +120
Their stout defense may have gotten them this far, but I think the road ends here for Iowa State. Miami’s guard play should prove to be too much here for the brutal offense of the Cyclones to keep up with. They have shot just 35 percent from the field thus far in the NCAA Tournament and that low level of offense isn’t enough to make this deep of a tournament run. This is not a future I will be taking.Iowa State National Championship Odds: +10000
This is at such a high price because Iowa State simply doesn’t have the offense to make any sort of magical run here and I agree. The Cyclones rank 158th in the nation in offensive efficiency, the second-worst among Sweet 16 teams by a wide margin only with #15 Saint Peter’s trailing behind. Don’t waste your money here.