1996 - With a Cyclone Slant to It

Sit back and relive a trip back to 1996 for week one of our ten week feature. 1996 was one of the most active years in Cyclone history. It was the year of the Troy, Dedric, and Bono. So throw in Independence Day in the DVD player, get down to some Macarena and recall the smooth tones of Bob Dole as we set the clock back to 1996 in this week's Cyclone Timeline.

Sit back and relive a trip back to 1996 for week one of our ten week feature. 1996 was one of the most active years in Cyclone history. It was the year of the Troy, Dedric, and Bono. So throw in Independence Day in the DVD player, get down to some Macarena and recall the smooth tones of Bob Dole as we set the clock back to 1996 in this week's Cyclone Timeline.

 

 

Cyclone Timeline: 1996

 

January 2- Tommie Frazier and Nebraska run all over and through the porous Florida Gator tackling to win the most lopsided Championship Game in NCAA Football history 62-24.

 

January 6- Second-year coach Tim Floyd and his rag-tag group of transfers are humiliated in Manhattan, Kansas, losing to the Wildcats 72-55 in their first conference game. This validates the prediction of the conference coaches who predicted the Cyclones to finish last in the Big 8. The Cyclones drop to 11-4.    

 

January 28- The Dallas Cowboys defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. Dallas defensive back Larry Brown returns a Neil O'Donnell pass for a touchdown on his way to winning the MVP.

 

February 3- The Cyclones and sharpshooter Dedric Willoughby stun the Big 8 after winning their fifth straight game, dispatching the Huskers in Lincoln 75-65. The win vaults Iowa State to a tie for second in the conference and a top 25 ranking for the first time in the season.

 

February 7- Third ranked Kansas throttles the upstart Cyclones 89-70 in the Phog. The loss gives Iowa State a big dose of reality as they would lose three of their next six, including home losses to Kansas and Kansas State.

 

February 16- "Happy Gilmore" is released to theatres across the country. 13 year olds everywhere continually recite the line, "The price is wrong..."

 

February 17- Russian chess champion Kasparov humbles the "Deep Blue" Super-Computer in a game of chess. Locally, Brent Blum defeats his brother in a game of Checkers after executing a historic triple jump.

 

March 2- Reeling a bit, the Cyclones, led by Jacy Holloway's shut-down defense of Freshman All-American Chauncey Billups, handle the Buffaloes 74-65 in the final regular season game of the year. The clutch win locks up a second place finish in the conference and the number 2 seed in the final Big 8 tournament.  

 

March 3- The Iowa Hawkeyes defeat Purdue to finish tied for fourth in the Big 10 conference. Junior Jess Settles was the Hawks leading scorer at 16 points per game. Little did we know, this "Junior" would remain eligible for an estimated nine more years.

 

March 8- The tournament-inexperienced Cyclones struggle to hold off seventh-seeded Nebraska, escaping 62-60. Kelvin Cato's presence was instrumental as the raw talent from down south had 16 points and 5 blocks to help the Cyclones survive the dangerous Friday in K.C.

 

March 9- Dedric Willoughby would not be denied against a difficult Missouri Tiger team. Dedric made shot-after-shot, scoring 25 points as the Cyclones stifled the Tigers for the third time in the same year, 57-53.

 

March 10- It was a daunting task. In front of a national audience on CBS, Iowa State faced fifth ranked Kansas and All-Americans Jacques Vaughn and Raef LaFrentz in the Big 8 tournament finale. Iowa State hadn't won a Big 8 tournament since its inception in 1977. They faced a Kansas team that remained irritated after the Cyclones eliminated them in the '95 tourney. The game was tighter than spandex on Mark Mangino early on, as both teams took turns in front. Kansas held the 28-27 advantage at the half. Iowa State landed the first salvo of the second half going on a 7-0 run to take a 45-37 lead with 13 minutes to play. However, the Cyclones managed only six points in the next 12 minutes and trailed 53-51 with 74 seconds remaining. As the shot-clock ticked toward zero and Willoughby in a straight jacket coming off screens, Jacy Holloway did something he hadn't done all day. He made a shot. As the shot clock buzzer sounded, Holloway drilled a top of the key three with 45 seconds remaining to give ISU a one point lead. LaFrentz countered with two free throws to put KU back on top. ISU left the game in the hands of Willoughby who drew a foul with 6 seconds left. He calmly drained two free throws and the Clones were up 1. Quickly, Vaughn raced down the floor and threw up a desperation lob over the out-stretched hand of Kelvin Cato. NO GOOD! The Cyclones Win!! Willoughby and Kenny Pratt each finished with 20 points.

 

March 10- ISU receives the 5 seed in the West Regional. No.1 seeds: Massachusetts, Kentucky, Purdue, UCONN.

 

March 14- Iowa State opened the 1996 NCAA tourney with a match-up with 12th seeded California in Dallas. The Bears featured the best freshman in the country in Shareef Abdur-Rahim. The Cyclones controlled the game of the opening tip thanks in large part to defensive specialist Shawn Bankhead. The defensive weapon held Rahim to a season low 7 points and 2 rebounds as the Cyclones cruised to a 74-64 win.

 

March 15- Princeton shocks the college basketball world after defeating defending champ UCLA 43-41. Iowa survives a scare, winning 81-79 over George Washington.

 

March 16- Iowa State faced-off against 4th seeded Utah, led by guard Andre Miller, center Michael Doleac and flu-riddled Keith Van Horn. The Cyclones labored to contain Miller who torched Iowa State with his physical style. Van Horn stepped up to make some big shots in the closing minutes as the Utes staved off a late Cyclone rally, ending ISU's season by winning 73-67. Iowa State finished with a team record 24 wins on the year, finishing in the top 20 of every major poll for the first time ever.

 

March 17- Iowa loses to former coach Lute Olson and Arizona 87-73.

 

March 20- Lyle and Erik Menendez are found guilty of first degree murder in a nationally recognized trial.

 

March 23- Iowa State's Chris Bono wins his first NCAA Championship at 150 pounds. The Cyclones finish second in the team standings; Iowa wins the title.

 

April 1- Rick Pitino's Kentucky Wildcats win the NCAA tournament, defeating John Wallace and the Syracuse Orangemen. Tony Delk is named Most Outstanding Player.

 

April 3- The "Unabomber" Ted Kaczyinski is arrested in Montana.

 

April 16- The Chicago Bulls set an NBA record after winning their 72nd game.

 

May 10- "Twister" storms into theatres. And readers everywhere roll their eyes at lame headlines like that one.

 

June 3- Brent Blum and Chris Williams graduate the fifth grade after naming all 50 state capitals. A remarkable feat. And, yes, Juneau remains the capital of Alaska.  

 

June 16- The Bulls defeat the Seattle SuperSonics in game six to win their fifth title. Shawn Kemp eats his first of many cup-cakes in frustration.

 

July 3- "Independence Day" explodes into the box office.   

 

July 5- Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned is born. Cyclone fans wonder if Troy Davis can be cloned.

 

July 19- The 1996 Summer Olympics officially begin after Muhammad Ali lights the torch. Michael Johnson becomes the story of the Olympics after winning the 400m and setting a ridiculous record of 19.32 in the 200m.

 

July 27- The Olympics are marred after the bombing in Centennial Park, killing one spectator and injuring over a hundred others.

 

August 1- The new natural grass surface at the recently named Jack Trice Stadium is unveiled.

 

August 8- The "Macarena" sweeps the nation. In attempt to humiliate all Iowans, the Iowa State Fair organizes an event to break the record for the most people doing the Macarena in unison. Civilization regresses several decades.

 

August 27- After winning his third consecutive Amateur title, 20 year old Tiger Woods turns professional at the Greater Milwaukee Open. He would win two PGA titles in the next three months.

 

August 31- The Big 12 Conference is officially christened as Kansas State defeats Texas Tech in the first Big 12 contest.

 

September 7- The Cyclones opened the 1996 football campaign by hosting the Wyoming Cowboys. Junior Troy Davis, the nation's leading rusher in 1995, ran for 146 yards on 35 carries to help give the Cyclones the 35-17 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Cowboys rallied to score 18 points in the final period to send the game into OT. Second year head coach Dan McCarney opted to go on offense in one of the first OT games in D-1 history.  Cyclone kicker Jamie Kohl came up empty and Wyoming converted a 41 yarder to win 41-38. Iowa State has yet to win an overtime game.

 

Septmeber 13- Rap superstar Tupac Shakur dies as a result of being gun down several days earlier in Las Vegas.

 

September 14- Iowa State traveled to the unfriendly confines of Kinnick Stadium, where they had lost seven straight times. The 21st ranked Hawkeyes started the game in a defensive stale-mate with Iowa State. That is until Hawkeye running back Tavian Banks, in for the injured Sedrick Shaw, galloped 89 yards for the first score as time expired in the first quarter. Banks would add two more second quarter scores as the Hawks punished the Cyclones by a 24-0 margin at halftime. Iowa would breeze to a 38-13 win. Troy Davis gained 152 yards on 20 carries in the losing effort. It would be eight more years until ISU lost at Kinnick again.

 

September 21- Iowa State rode Troy Davis like a rented mule at the Grand Canyon to get their first win of the year against Northern Iowa. Davis carried the ball a ridiculous 53 times for 241 yards and 5 touchdowns to give ISU the 42-23 win. In the final drive of the game, Davis accentuated his workman like performance with a 15 carry 45 yard sequence. He shattered the carry record previously held by Dwyane Crutchfield at 47. The record still stands today and may never be broken.

 

September 28- In the greatest performance ever by a Cyclone running back, Troy Davis did the unthinkable against Missouri. Davis toted the ball 41 times for a staggering 378 yards, the best total in ISU history and the third best in NCAA history at the time. With the Cyclones trailing the Tigers 31-24 going into the fourth, Davis took it to a transcendent level running 16 times for 175 yards and 2 TDs in the fourth quarter alone. The Cyclones would win 45-31 and Davis was named national player of the week by anybody with a pulse. It was the first time in 20 years the Cyclones scored 40 points in back-to-back weeks.

 

October 9- Known as the Jeffrey Maier game, the New York Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles in game one of the ALCS.

 

October 12- ISU fell behind Texas A&M 17-0 in its first game against a Big 12 South team. Dante' Hall had a 69 yard punt return to give the Aggies the 17 point cushion. The Cyclones closed the gap to three points twice but fell short, 24-21. Troy Davis had 130 yards on 39 carries to surpass the 1,000 yard mark five games into the season. 

 

October 14- The Dow Jones closes above 6,000 for the first time.

 

October 19- The Cyclones led Oklahoma State 24-7 in Stillwater after a Todd Doxzon to Dennis Dibiase connection with 8 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Cyclones would again falter late as the Cowboys outscored ISU 21-3 to win by a point. Davis put in another magnificent performance--36 carries 238 yards and 2 TDs.

 

October 26- ISU got off to a 21-7 start in Waco against Baylor but it was not enough. The Cyclones gave up 624 yards and 42 unanswered points to the Bears, falling 49-21. It was Baylor's first win in the Big 12 conference. Davis rushed 28 times for 138 yards and Ty Watley caught a touchdown pass, his first at ISU.

 

October 29- The Yankees win their first World Series in 18 years, dispatching the Atlanta Braves in six games. Closer John Wetteland is named the MVP.

 

November 2- ISU led Kansas 31-27 with 6 minutes remaining, before squandering another victory, as the Jayhawks won 34-31. Davis had 171 yards on 31 carries. ISU had two defensive scores in the second half, one from Dawan Anderson and another from Tracy Williams.

 

November 5- Bill Clinton is re-elected as President, holding off the feisty Bob Dole. (I think that's the first time Dole and feisty have been used together.)

 

November 9- Iowa State gave 7th ranked Colorado a scare, leading 28-21 in the third quarter. The Buffs retaliated with 28 unanswered to take control, before staving off the Cyclones 49-42. Davis put together one more gem, running 35 times for 228 yards and 2 TDs against one of the best defenses in the nation.

 

November 9- Mike Tyson is TKO'd in the 11th round by Evander Holyfield in their first meeting in Las Vegas.

 

November 15- "Space Jam" the cartoon basketball movie featuring Michael Jordan is released.

 

November 16- In a snowy track at Jack Trice, Troy Davis gains 138 yards on 34 carries, but the Cyclones lose to 5th ranked Nebraska 49-14.

 

November 20- Hype around the ISU Men's Basketball program reaches near-record levels. Iowa State is tabbed as a pre-season top 10 team (#9) for the first time in the history of pre-season polls.

 

November 23- In Davis' final game of his career, he rushed 48 times for 225 yards in a 35-20 loss to K-State in Manhattan. Davis became the first player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in back-to-back years. He finished with 2,185 yards in 1996 and 4,382 career yards. The Cyclones ended 1996 with a 2-9 record.

 

November 29- ISU opens the basketball season ranked ninth by dominating Alcorn St. 87-58.

 

December 7- Unranked Texas shocks #3 Nebraska by running a play-action on a fourth and one from their own 28 all the way down to the NU 11. Priest Holmes scored from there to give Texas the 37-27 lead with three minutes remaining in the first Big 12 Championship in St. Louis. That would be the final score as John Mackovic earned his biggest win as head coach. 

 

December 14- Troy Davis is jobbed and finishes second in the Heisman trophy balloting. Florida's Danny Wuerffel wins the 62nd annual trophy. Arizona State's Jake Plummer and Northwestern's Darnell Autry are also candidates. This comes only days after the biggest injustice in College Football award history as Texas Tech's Byron Hanspard won the Maxwell award for the nation's best running back over the Great Troy. 

 

December 14- The Cyclone ballers travel to Iowa City and handle the Hawks 81-74 to move to 6-0.

 

December 30- Iowa State swats away Texas Pan-American as Kelvin Cato has 11 blocks to win 66-42. The 11 blocks are an ISU and Big 12 record. The Cyclones move to 9-0 and up to 4th in the rankings entering the new year.  


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