In a survive-and-advance tournament, margin of victory doesn't matter.
So even though Iowa State played perhaps its sloppiest game of the season Sunday against George Mason in the Diamond Head Classic, letting the Patriots hang around far too long before pulling away, it doesn't matter as the No. 17 Cyclones advance in the winners' bracket to play the winner of Akron-Oregon State.
And despite the struggles, the final score — 79-67 — doesn't present much to complain about, anyway.
Consider what Iowa State survived to dispatch the No. 135 team in the nation (according to kenpom.com)
Four starters scored in double digits for Iowa State, Georges Niang pacing the team with 22 points, while Melvin Ejim recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, two offensive.
Dustin Hogue wasn't able to crack double digit rebounds for a fourth consecutive game but was still exceptional, scoring 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting — the three misses coming from distance — and picking up eight rebounds.
Matt Thomas was the only starter who struggled, missing five of seven shots and hitting 25 percent of his three-point attempts.
The Cyclones used three players off the bench, all guards, and got just seven bench points, all from Naz Long.
Iowa State (9-0) is one of 10 remaining undefeated teams in college basketball.