UAB guard Denzell Watts (1) shoots as Middle Tennessee forward Perrin Buford (2) tries to block during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Conference USA tournament championship, Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo
Butch Dill
March 15, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Iowa State has earned the No. 3 seed in the South Region.

The two-time Big 12 Tournament champion Cyclones (25-8) will open NCAA Tournament play on Thursday in Louisville against 14th-seeded UAB (19-15).

The Cyclones are in the tournament for the fourth straight year under coach Fred Hoiberg. They rallied from 17 points down to beat Kansas in the Big 12 final on Saturday.

The Blazers won their first Conference USA Tournament and made it into the bracket for the first time since 2011.

Coach Jerod Haase said earning an NCAA Tournament berth is ''a rallying cry'' for a school that has faced criticism from fans and students for dropping its football program.

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