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