Iowa State heads to San Antonio for a matchup on Friday against North Carolina Central in the NCAA Tournament. The Cyclones are the third seed in the East Regional and have won four straight after claiming the Big 12 Tournament title over the weekend in Kansas City. “It’s a great venue for fans, that river walk is a really cool area. I know my family is excited because we’ll get nice warm weather down there,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg says. He also expects a good fan following.
Hoiberg is leading the Cyclones to the big dance for the third straight year, equaling the longest string in program history. ISU will take on a North Carolina Central team that is 28-5 and won the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament title. “It’s a team that has a great scorer..Ingram averages 20 points a game, and sounds like they’ve got a very good point guard…we’ll get to work tonight and try to put a game plan together,” Hoiberg says.
Hoiberg says he was hoping for a Friday opener. “It gives you that one extra day, would have had to rush it a little bit had we played on Thursday. It’s just really an awesome opportunity again for us to get a three seed this year,” Hoiberg says.
The players and coaches watched the selection show at Hoiberg’s house and were pleased with the outcome even though they already knew they were in the field. “It was fun, definitely nerve wracking just to see where you are going to be,” Big 12 player of the Year Melvin Ejim says.
The tournament bid is the first for senior guard DeAndre Kane who began his college career at Marshall. “It’s a good feeling, especially for me…we’re going to head to Texas and try to get a win,” Kane says. Sophomore forward Georges Niang says he was expecting a third seed. “I think they gave us the right seed, I didn’t know who we were going to be playing,” Niang says.