The No. 9 ranked and third-seeded Iowa State Cyclones defeated the sixth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels 85-83 in a thriller that saw five Iowa State student-athletes post double-digit scoring efforts. DeAndre Kane led the way with his seventh double-double of the year, notching 24 points and 14 rebounds.
North Carolina got out to an early 12-5 lead on an 8-0 run, as the Cyclones struggled early from the field, shooting just 3-13 to start the game. Iowa State would answer with a 7-0 run of their own to tie it up at 14 on a drive and a lay-up from Kane. A timely three-pointer from Matt Thomas and an emphatic one-handed slam from Kane brought the Cyclone faithful to their feet, as the Cyclones built a nine-point lead with 5:20 to go in the first half. The Tar Heels would pull back to within three, and Iowa State would enter halftime with a 40-37 lead.
Kane led the Cyclones’ offensive charge, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight boards in the first 20 minutes of action. Monté Morris added eight points in the stanza. Iowa State attacked the glass in the first half, grabbing 22 rebounds. Despite shooting 34.3 percent from the field, the Cyclones were able to capitalize on 7-15 shooting from beyond the arc and hit 9-11 from the free-throw line.
The second half started out at a blistering pace, both teams racing up and down the court in transition. Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane kept the Cyclones ahead early, as the duo accounted for the first 12 Iowa State points in the half. A 10-0 run by the Tar Heels put the Cyclones down six and trailed by as many as eight with 4:22 to play.
A pair of big three-pointers from Naz Long kept the Cyclones within striking distance, cutting the deficit to five with under 4 minutes to play. Iowa State put together a 9-2 run to knot the game up at 76.
When the Cyclones needed a shot, the Mississaugua, Ontario, native was there. Long hit three key three-pointers over the final minutes to keep the Cyclones in the game and tied the game on the biggest shot of his career.
With the game in his hands, Kane brought the ball up the court with 15.7 seconds left on the clock. The Cyclone senior drove into the paint, drew contact and hit the shot with 1.6 ticks remaining to seal the victory.
Five Cyclones ended the night in double figures, as Kane (24), Ejim (19), Morris (13), Dustin Hogue (14) and Long (12) each netted over 10 points on the night. The win marks Iowa State’s first over North Carolina in program history.
Keys to the Game
Attacking the Glass. The Cyclones were able to hang with the Tar Heels on the boards, grabbing 37 on the day. Kane led the way with 10, and Hogue grabbed seven of his own.
Resiliency. The Cyclones trailed by as many as eight with under 4 and a half minutes remaining. Big shots from Naz Long, Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane brought the team back and captured the victory.
The Cyclone Gameball goes to…
DeAndre Kane. Kane posted his seventh double-double of the season, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds on the evening. With 15.7 seconds left in the game, Kane had the ball in his hands. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native drove into the paint and scored the game winning basket with 1.6 left on the clock and seal the Cyclone victory, ensuring Iowa State a trip to the Sweet 16.
With the win, the Cyclones advance to the fourth Sweet 16 in program history. Iowa State will face Connecticut in a rematch of the 2012 second-round game, in New York, New York, at Madison Square Garden.
(release courtesy of cyclones.com)