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Iowa State put an end to Little Rock’s Cinderella story, taking command of their second-round matchup right from the tip and never letting go en route to a 78–61 victory. The Cyclones advanced to the Sweet 16 behind 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting from Georges Niang.
Why it matters
After a one-year hiatus, Iowa State is back in the Sweet 16. Steve Prohm has done an excellent job in his first year as head coach, keeping in place the systems that worked so well under Fred Hoiberg. It helps, of course, when you have players like Niang, Monte Morris, Abdel Nader, Jameel McKay and Matt Thomas. The Iowa State starting five played a complete game from start to finish, and that’s what the Cyclones are going to have to take forward from this game. There’s no doubt this team has Final Four potential, but when it struggled from time to time in the Big 12, it typically was because it didn’t receive any contributions from at least two of its key players. This is a team that lives by its hyper-efficient offense. That’s what will continue to carry it in the tournament.
Iowa State will take on No. 1 Virginia in the Sweet 16.