The Iowa State Cyclones return to the NCAA tournament this season after a long absence. Iowa State last trip to the Big Dance was back in 2005.
Cyclone fans agree the wait has been too long. That might make this trip much sweeter.
Iowa State’s story is a feel good one in the college game. Former Cyclone star player Fred Hoiberg leads his alma mater back to the Big Dance with a bunch of transfers in only Hoiberg’s second season.
But the NCAA didn’t give Iowa State a break in the seeding. The Cyclones are No. 8 and play the defending national champion UCONN Huskies (No. 9). Obviously, the Huskies aren’t a national title threat this go around, but they are capable of winning some games in the tournament. And the No. 8-9 game is always a tough matchup because the committee deems the teams quite equal. And another difficult aspect this year is the winner gets the No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in round No.3.
It’s great that my alma mater is going back to the tournament. But I hope the Cyclones aren’t just happy with that. They need to go and collect wins and gain more national respect. The tournament is more than being happy to gain the field and pick up a participation ribbon. Once the tournament starts, people only remember you for the wins.