CN From Dallas: Cinderella? Why Not?

It's that time of year when high school boys all of the sudden get "sick" and can't go to school. It's the time of the year when stars are made and it's the time of the year where everybody's favorite cliché, Cinderella's are born. Every year there are teams that we as fans refer to as Cinderella's. Could Iowa State be this year's Cinderella? Why not?

It's that time of year when high school boys all of the sudden get "sick" and can't go to school. It's the time of the year when stars are made and it's the time of the year where everybody's favorite cliché, Cinderella's are born. Every year there are teams that we as fans refer to as Cinderella's. They are teams who unexpectedly march through their conference tournaments and make it to the dance. They are teams who defeat common knowledge and upset the big dogs in the NCAA tournament. My question to Cyclone Nation is this. Why not Iowa State? Why can't Iowa State be this year's Cinderella?

 

"I've always been the underdog my entire life. You can creep up on people sometimes. If you look down on us we're still going to fight. When you're an underdog you're the hunter, you're not the hunted," said Curtis Stinson after practice on Wednesday.

 

Iowa State got a great draw with Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. It's a team that Iowa State manhandled just a few weeks ago, so confidence won't be a problem. Oklahoma State, much like Iowa State, lacks an inside game. If you match the guards up, Iowa State has to be the favorite. Iowa State has to do a better job on Oklahoma State forward Mario Boggan. He had 19 points in Ames. The Cyclone bigs just have to put a body on him. Look to contain him, not stop him.

 

I know that lately the Cowboys have been hot, but if the Iowa State team that we love shows up, the Cyclones will move on to face Kansas on Friday.

 

Bill Self's Jayhawks have proven to be Iowa State's "daddy" so far this season but as the old saying goes, it's hard to be a team three times in one season. Kansas is a team full of youth and inexperience when it comes to tournament time. These youngsters can play though. They aren't like most underclassmen. In the game in Ames, Kansas scored 95 points and every single one of them were scored by a freshman or sophomore. If Iowa State gets hot from the outside, they can win this game. If Iowa State can pull off this upset, the Cinderella march will truly begin.

 

Keys to being Cinderella:

1-    Outside shooting – Iowa State simply cannot afford to launch 30 3-pointers during any game of the Big 12 tournament. If they do they will not win. This team has gotten beat all year because of the shot chart. Opposing teams are getting lay ups while Iowa State is launching 25 footers.

2-    Interior defense – The bigs have to step up and if not stop, contain the big men that they'll face in the tournament. Iowa State can't afford to give up 37 points like they did to Aleks Maric. If that happens, kiss Cinderella goodbye.

3-    Stinson being Stinson – It's now time for Curtis to prove why he should have been first team All-Big 12 with his game and not his words. Curtis loves the spotlight and he'll have plenty of it on Thursday night.

4-    Rahshon ClarkIowa State must have that third guy step up and score and it has to be Rahshon.

 

Now some of you out there are probably thinking that talking like this is absolutely crazy. I'm here to tell you that it's not. March Madness is dominated by guard play. The Cyclones strive off of that. Iowa State still has their weaknesses down low but if Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock can get hot, Iowa State has as good of a chance as anybody to make some noise in this tournament.

 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not ready to start talking NIT just yet. There's a lot of basketball to be played and this year's Cinderella has yet to be crowned. Let's just hope that our guys wear the right shoes to the ball.

 

 


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