It was a total surprise.
The surprise wasn’t that Iowa State defeated Notre Dame in a No. 10 vs. No. 7 match-up. The surprise was how it happened.
Usually these closely seeded teams play close games. Not Friday night in Dayton, Ohio. The Cyclones started fast and attacked the Fighting Irish. The game was over early in the second half. You kept thinking Notre Dame would mount a second-half run. There was none. Iowa State cleared its bench and provided playing time for little-used reserves. Notre Dame played looked like something hit them but they weren’t sure what.
There was another surprise in this game—HOW the Cyclones dominated. Iowa State is known for its three-point shooting. On this night, the Cyclones decided to move the ball inside and take it straight to the Fight Irish. They threw in some three-pointers for good measure. The strategy worked and worked well.
Simply put, Iowa State possessed better athletes than Notre Dame.
The Cyclones move on to play Ohio State in Round 3. This should be an interesting game. The Buckeyes have the athletes to match Iowa State. But if the Buckeyes noticed, Iowa State is an outstanding No. 10 seed.
As one sportscaster likes to say, “This is going to be fun.”