Charlotte, N.C. - Charlotte Coliseum
Sunday, 2:30 p.m., CBS
NCAA First Round: With strong defense and led by the low-post effort from center Jared Homan -- 14 pts, 13 reb, 7 blk -- Iowa State took control in the first half of their first-round game against Minnesota and held on from there for a 64-53 win. Curtis Stinson (18 pts) and Rahshon Clark were also in double digits (14 pts), while the Cyclone 'D' held the Gophers to just 33-percent shooting.
Season Recap: After losing six straight in January, Iowa State was 0-5 in the Big 12, with even an NIT bid seeming unlikely. But the Cyclones tightened their lineup to a six-man rotation and heightened their defensive play to win 10 of their next 12 games -- including upsets of Oklahoma, Texas Tech, at Texas (all six regulars in double-digits) and at Kansas (Stinson - 29 pts).
DEFENSE!: Defense has been the calling card of the Cyclones this season. They've held opponents to 63.8 points per game -- 41 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc, while forcing a whopping 17.4 turnovers per game. Stinson, Blalock and Clark combine for six steals per game, while Homan averages 2.1 blocks. It was a trapping zone combined with some full court press that did in Minnesota in round one.
Background Location: Ames, Iowa Enrollment: 27,380 Conference: Big XII Nickname: Cyclones Colors: Cardinal & Gold Head Coach: Wayne Morgan Record at ISU: 39-24
Probable Starting Lineup: Will Blalock (6-0, 190, G, So.) – 12.5 ppg, 4.8 apg Curtis Stinson (6-3, 215, G, So.) – 17.3 ppg, 4.4 apg Rahshon Clark (6-6, 190, F, Fr.) – 7.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg Damion Staple (6-7, 240, F, Sr.) – 5.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg Jared Homan (6-10, 250, C, Sr.) – 13.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg Key Reserves: Tasheed Carr (6-4, 205, G, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Stinson ... Homan
Clark ... Blalock
Staple ... Carr
(Photos by the AP)