Here is one thing to put on your Cardinal & Gold radar this week:
1) Unless you were living under a rock this weekend, we probably don’t need to remind you to put Cyclone basketball on your radar this week. March Madness is upon us, and the REPEAT Big 12 tournament champion ISU men’s basketball team (the comeback kids!) is headed to Louisville, Ky., Thursday as the South Region’s No. 3 seed in the 2015 NCAA tournament. The Cyclones will face UAB Thursday at 11:40 a.m. CT/12:40 p.m. ET; if they win, they will advance to play the winner of SMU/UCLA on Saturday for a shot at another Sweet 16 appearance.
Some interesting notes about Iowa State’s berth:
- SMU is coached by the legendary former Kansas and NBA coach Larry Brown, who was Fred Hoiberg’s first coach in the pros. UCLA is coached by former University of Iowa head coach Steve Alford, so either way there will be an interesting third-round storyline if the Cyclones advance on Thursday.
- All three of Iowa’s Regents institutions are dancing, and all of them have a top-7 berth. If the Hawkeyes pull an upset, there is even the potential for an ISU-Iowa Sweet 16 matchup in the South Region. Now, that would be a game for the ages.
- While some may be upset that Iowa State didn’t jump Kansas (the No. 2 seed in the Midwest) in the rankings after defeating the Jayhawks in Saturday’s Big 12 championship game, the snub may actually be a blessing in disguise. Kansas was ranked eighth overall by the committee, ISU ninth. What does that mean? Kansas gets the toughest No. 2 seed (matched up in the same region with undefeated No. 1 Kentucky), and Iowa State’s potential matchups in the South look much more favorable — on paper, at least.
The ISU Alumni Association is busy planning events and potential travel opportunities for Cyclones fans. There will be no official travel package for Louisville, but stay tuned to www.travelingcyclones.com for information about a potential trip to Houston next week if the Cyclones make the Sweet 16. There is also second and third round ticket information on the site. You can follow the “Contact” link on the website to request more information.
There will be a pep rally and team sendoff Thursday morning (9:40 a.m. CT/10:40 a.m. ET) at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Stay tuned to our website at www.isualum.org/ncaa for the latest details as they become available.
The Cyclone women, who are on the bubble, will find out their NCAA tournament fate tonight at 6 p.m. Information about fan events for the women’s tourney will also be posted at www.isualum.org/ncaa when it becomes available.