Monday, January 30, 2012

The Magic Returns

Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg said when it took the Cyclone job over two years ago that Hilton Magic needed to be a part of the Iowa State landmark again.

Hoiberg got his wish Saturday when the Cyclones rolled No. 5 Kansas in Hilton Coliseum.

“Hilton Magic” is a term to describe the game day atmosphere in Iowa State’s basketball facility and the tremendous home court advantage the building seems to provide.

The place was rocking-and-a-rolling Saturday. Even via the TV, you could tell the building was extremely loud. The fans were “willing” the Cyclones to grab a victory.

Probably more than any other team in the Big 12 Conference, Kansas knows all about Hilton Magic. The Jayhawks often come to Ames highly ranked and often leave Hilton Coliseum highly disappointed. So the Kansas ending was familiar on another Saturday.

The outcome wasn’t without some drama however. The Jayhawks kept it close until the end. Contrary to popular brief, Iowa State’s Royce White can make free throws. Kansas fouled the much maligned free throw shooter hoping to get back into the contest in the later stages. White calmly sunk two free throws with 1:47 remaining. It was like a knife to the heart for Kansas.

We’ll see if Hilton Magic is here for an extended stay or just a glimpse of the past. Kansas State appears in the building Tuesday. Iowa State should expect a tough game because the Wildcats were upset by Oklahoma in Manhattan Saturday. The Cats should be angry.

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