First Look at Iowa State

Connecticut opens the NCAA Tournament against Iowa State, a three-point shooting team from the Big 12. The Cyclones are in the Big Dance for the first time since 2005.


Location: Ames, Iowa

Conference:Big 12

Record: 22-10 overall, 12-6 Big 12 (third place)

Seed: No. 8, South Region

RPI: 33

Coach: Fred Hoiberg, 2nd Season, 38-26 Overall

How they got here: At-large bid; finished 3rd in Big 12 regular season; lost to Texas 71-65 in Big 12 quarterfinals

Last NCAA appearance: 2005 (No. 9 Seed). Defeated Minnesota then lost to No. 1 North Carolina 92-65 in the second round of the Syracuse Regional.

NCAA history: This will be Iowa State's 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They reached the Elite Eight in 2000 as a No. 2 seed before losing to Michigan State (No. 1).

Top players: Royce White, F, 6-8 ,sophomore, 13.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg; Scott Christopherson, G, 6-3, senior, 12.5 ppg, 89.5 percent FT; 45 percent 3-pt FG; Chris Allen, G, 6-3 senior, 11.8 ppg, 2.4 assists

Top wins:The Cyclones were 5-7 against the RPI Top 50, defeating Kansas (72-64), Kansas State (72-70 and 65-61), Baylor (80-72), and Texas (77-71).

What to watch for: Royce White, a transfer from Minnesota, presents a number of matchup problems. The 6-8 forward leads Iowa State in scoring average, rebounds per game and assists. Essentially, he is a point center. Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond will need to extend out to the high and guard in order to have success.

Connecticut will also have to defend the three. Iowa State makes an impressive 8.9 three point field goals per game and has two players, Scott Christopherson and McGee Tyrus who have shot at least 100 three point attempts and both shoot over 40% from long distance. Florida is the only team in the NCAA field that makes more threes than Iowa State.

Intangible: Hoiberg. He grew up in Ames, was a ball boy at Iowa State and played for Johnny Orr. Nicknamed "The Mayor" because of his loyalty to the town, he actually received some write-in votes in a mayoral campaign. Hoiberg is popular with fans and players alike. He took a lot of threes as a player and now encourages it as coach. Cyclones went from three wins in Big 12 last year to 12 this season. Quick Quote: "It's a tough draw. But hey, we're up for the challenge." - Hoiberg

Series record: First Meeting Managing Editor Ken Davis contributed to this capsule.

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