AMES, IOWA -- Iowa State completed a first in school history Saturday when it won back-to-back Big 12 postseason titles. Sunday it completed another milestone that has been a long time coming, advancing to its fourth NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.
As the team sat in coach Fred Hoiberg's basement Sunday evening, there was no wondering if Iowa State would make its fourth consecutive tournament. The lone questions centered around where the team would end up and how highly the Cyclones might be seeded.
Those questions now have answers.
Iowa State will head to Louisville for the second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament as a 3-seed. The Cyclones will open with UAB on Thursday at 11:40 a.m., and would play the winner of SMU and UCLA on Saturday if they advance.
"It’s exciting," Hoiberg said. "We’re excited to be back in the tournament and getting another chance to play on the big stage."
The Cyclones are seeded in the South Regional, which puts the team in Houston should it advance to the Sweet 16 for the second time in as many seasons. Missing out on a 2-seed may actually be a saving grace as doing so put Iowa State on the opposite side of the bracket as vaunted Kentucky rather than in the same regional
"I thought two was in play, but I did figure we would get three just after looking at all the different experts that were out there," Hoiberg said. "I thought three in Louisville and it came true."
After playing three games in three days to win its second consecutive Big 12 postseason crown, Iowa State will now quickly turn around to prepare for a UAB team that is unfamiliar.
"Teams are going to give us their best shot, especially a team like UAB," guard Monte Morris said. "They’re coming off a big conference championship and we’ve just got to throw the first punch at them. We don’t want them to get comfortable and let their fans get into it, so we’re going to just go out there and do us."
Check back to AllCyclones.com throughout the week for coverage from Louisville.