Caught in a Cyclone: ISU hammers No

Mar 16, 2024, 08:39 PM ET KANSAS CITY, Mo.– T.J. Otzelberger almost let the Big 12 Competition prize slip through his hands before adjusting his grip and raising it above his head, that polo t-shirt so many people find so comically tight on Iowa State’s coach stretching just a little bit more.There was absolutely nothing funny about the way the Cyclones played Saturday night.Led by Keshon Gilbert, the tourney’s most

impressive player, and a balanced lineup in which everyone has a function, the nation’s seventh-ranked team efficiently dismantled No. 1 Houston in the national championship. Gilbert finished with 16 points as the Cyclones rolled to the 69-41 victory, giving them their 6th Big 12 prize in their sixth title game appearance.The margin was the biggest over a No. 1 group because UCLA beat the Cougars by 32 in the

1968 Last Four. “I offer our guys all the credit,”Otzelberger said after cutting down the webs.

“You hear it all the time: You wish to be playing your best this time of year. I don’t believe there’s any concern that’s what we’re doing. “Milan Momcilovic had 18 points, and Hason Ward scored 13 for the Cyclones( 27-7 ), who have beaten five various programs to raise the prize, including Oklahoma, which at the time was led by current Houston coach Kelvin Sampson.Sampson most likely felt even worse on Saturday night than he carried out in 2000. Iowa State used an 18-3 run to turn a 30-23 halftime lead into the type of blowout Sampson has actually hardly ever experienced. And that in turn gave thousands of Cyclones fans who paint Kansas City red and yellow every March plenty of reason to stand on their feet and holler their approval.Editor’s Picks 2 Related!.?.!?”On and off do you play a roadway game in the champion of a tournament, however you know what? Hats off to Iowa State’s fans,”Sampson said.”I have actually understood Iowa State’s fans for a long, long period of time. That’s not the very first time I’ve lost to them in the championship. However do not forget how good you need to

be to get here. “It does not appear to matter who is training Iowa State at the Big 12 Tournament, either. Otzelberger ended up being the fourth to take that trophy back to Ames, Iowa, and the third to do it in the previous 10 finished occasions.”You beat a team or program as good as Houston is,”Otzelberger said, “your guys understand they’ve accomplished something.”

Jamal Shead had 10 points on 3-for-17 shooting for Houston (30-4), which was outscored 39-18 in the 2nd half. L.J. Cryer was held to seven points and Emanuel Sharp to 5 as the Cougars shot 4 of 22 from the 3-point arc and 15 of 56 from the

field.”We’ll choose ourselves up. We have actually had a fantastic year,” Sampson said. “Forty minutes is not going to specify three months.”

Iowa State built its halftime lead by playing the function of Houston much better than Houston.The preternaturally poised Cyclones never fluctuated when they fell behind early. They displayed some splendid ball motion for simple layups when the Cougars ‘guards tried to lock down the boundary.

And when the Cyclones got those buckets to go, it maximized Momcilovic and the rest of the Iowa State sharpshooters to start draining 3-pointers. On the other end, the Cyclones forced Shead into off-balance runners and long threes at the end

of the shot clock; the Big 12 player of the year– and defensive player of the year– was 2-for-11 in the very first half, and it didn’t get any better in the second.Cougars big man J’Wan Roberts also was mainly inefficient after injuring his best leg and playing sparingly in their semifinal rout of Texas Tech. He began the game and played 13 first-half minutes before remaining the second half.”This game’s not near as important as his health,”Sampson said.Roberts probably wouldn’t have made a distinction the method the Cyclones were rolling. They scored the very first 10 points as part of their run to begin the 2nd half, and Momcilovic’s 3 from in front of his bench pushed their cause 48-23 with 12:40 to go.Resorting to desperation shots, the Cougars went 9 1/2 minutes without a field goal as the game got away from them.It was one last blowout in a competition where the typical margin was almost 15 points.”We do not truly care what the outdoors world

thinks about us,” Cyclones guard Tamin Lipsey said.” That’s why we’re such a close group. We simply put our head down and go to work. That’s why I don’t believe there’s anybody more deserving than our group to be in this position and celebrate this minute.” Iowa State will likely be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA competition and might get a beneficial landing spot in Omaha, Nebraska, for the opening weekend. It is just about a 2 1/2- hour drive from its school in Ames.Houston almost certainly had actually secured a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tourney. The concern now is whether the selection committee would put the Cougars in the same region as Iowa State to set up a prospective rematch.

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