In a semi-shocking result, the #10-seed Iowa State Cyclones absolutely blitzed the #7-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Dayton on Friday evening. Obviously, a #10-seed beating a #7-seed isn’t an “upset” by anything except for pure seeding, but the way that ISU controlled the game was startling. The Cyclones took a 12-point (35-23) lead into half-time, and proceeded to explode early in the second half to take a 27-point lead, before “settling” for an 18-point victory.
The big story of the game was the way that Iowa State set the tempo, and maintained it with turnover-causing defense. Notre Dame committed 18 turnovers (to just 7 for ISU), and never settled into any sort of rhythm offensively. This resulted in some poor shooting numbers (43% FG, 23.5% 3-PT), and they couldn’t maintain the blistering pace of the Cyclones’ offense.
Iowa State was led by 19 points (on 9-13 FG) from freshman forward Georges Niang, but they had seven players score 6+ points on the night, and it was a total team effort offensively. Their offense clicked from the jump, and the fact that they assisted on 19 of their 29 converted field goals is an indication of their sharpness throughout.
For Notre Dame, it was a very positive, 25-win season, but they simply looked overmatched on this night. Turning the ball over 18 times (versus only 9 assists) isn’t a winning formula, and when they fell behind, things only got worse on that end of the floor. Senior forward (and leading scorer) Jack Cooley exits ND on a positive note, however, as he finished with a team-high 14 points on 6-7 shooting.
Iowa State moves on to face #2-seed Ohio State on Sunday, and that is a very, very interesting match-up. Ohio State is the significant favorite, but for one night in Dayton, the Cyclones looked like a big-time threat for a deep run.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout the entire tournament as we keep you up to date with the latest results. Will there be a Cinderella story in 2013? We will have to tune in and see.