Cyclones earn NCAA tourney bid
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa State has earned a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face Notre Dame in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday.
The Cyclones (22-11), led by third-year coach Fred Hoiberg, have earned back-to-back NCAA tournament bids for the first time in 12 years.
Iowa State solidified its spot in the field by sweeping Oklahoma State and West Virginia to close out the regular season. The Cyclones then rallied to beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament before falling to Kansas.
“I’m just excited to be back in the tournament,” said Iowa State senior Korie Lucious, who played in two Final Fours for Michigan State. “I’m just happy to be playing.”
Notre Dame beat Rutgers and Marquette before losing to Louisville, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, on Friday in New York.
Iowa State beat Connecticut in last year’s NCAAs before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky. The Cyclones and Irish (25-9) have played just once before, with Notre Dame beating Iowa State 87-77 in South Bend in 1979.
The winner of Friday’s matchup will likely face second-seeded Ohio State — playing just down the road in Columbus — for a spot in the West regional semifinals in Los Angeles.
“It’s exciting. It’s a great team. It’s a great program,” Hoiberg said of Notre Dame. “They’re very disciplined. They always shoot the ball well...it’s going to be a difficult matchup.”