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College Basketball: Iowa State returns to NCAA Tournament against LSU Friday night

AMES – Iowa State is making its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2019 as it faces LSU as the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region on Friday at 6:20 p.m.

The Matchup: 11-seed Iowa State (20-12, 7-11 Big 12) vs. 6-seed LSU (22-11, 9-9 SEC)
Where: Milwaukee, Wis. – Fiserv Forum (17,500)
When: Friday, March 18, 6:20 p.m. (CDT)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network/Varsity Radio App
Talent: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (Analyst)
TV: TBS
Talent: Spero Dedes (PxP), Debbie Antonelli (Analyst); AJ Ross (Reporter)
Webcast: NCAA.com
Live Stats: NCAA.com

KEY STORYLINES
– Iowa State heads into the postseason with a 20-12 record … ISU is +18 in the win column this season compared to last, the best turnaround in school and Big 12 history and the best-ever by a team led by a first-year head coach.
– Iowa State will be making its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth since the 2012 tournament, one of 14 schools with that many appearances in that time.
– ISU head coach T.J. Otzelberger is the eighth head coach in school history to lead the Cyclones to the tournament and just the third first-year head coach … he is one of four first-year head coaches nationally to lead his team there after taking over team with a losing record.
– Izaiah Brockington and Tyrese Hunter took home a number of awards from the Big 12 coaches … Brockington was named the league’s newcomer of the year, while Hunter was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year … Brockington was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Newcomer Team, while Hunter earned a spot on the all-freshman team … Brockington is the first Cyclone to win newcomer of the year since Deonte Burton (2016) and Hunter is the first ISU freshman of the year award winner since Curtis Stinson (2004).
– Brockington is fourth among Big 12 players in scoring (17.2) and third in rebounding (7.1), the only player ranked among the top five in both.
– Hunter broke the school freshman record for assists (157) and is five steals shy of the freshman record … in the last five games, Hunter has recorded his first career double-double at K-State (13 pts-10 assts) and dished out a career-high 13 dimes at Baylor … in those five games, he’s averaging 9.4 points. 7.4 assists and 2.0 steals … he’s also posted a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio in those games.

LAST TIME OUT
– Iowa State dropped its quarterfinal game at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships to Texas Tech, shooting just 31.3 percent as the Red Raiders advanced with a 72-41 win … ISU struggled from the start, suffering from 20 turnovers … Hunter led the Cyclones with nine points, while Brockington chipped in seven points … Aljaz Kunc pulled down six rebounds …. Hunter became just the second Cyclone freshman to record 60 steals, joining Fred Hoiberg.

ISU VERSUS LSU
– The Cyclones and Tigers are meeting for the first time.
– ISU (10) and LSU (6) are two of the nation’s top teams in defensive efficiency … the Tigers are second in turnover percentage and the Cyclones are sixth nationally.
– ISU and LSU have two common opponents: TCU and Missouri … the Cyclones beat Missouri and won at TCU, while falling to the Horned Frogs at home … LSU lost at TCU and beat Missouri both at home and on the road.
– LSU’s Xavier Pinson was a teammate of former Cyclone and current Los Angeles Laker Talen Horton-Tucker at Simeon Academy in Chicago.
– The Cyclones are 2-2 all-time against SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament (Lost to Kentucky, 1992; Def. Florida, 1995; Def. Auburn, 2000; Lost to Kentucky, 2012).
– ISU is 112-180 all-time against teams currently in the SEC.

ISU NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
– Iowa State is playing in its 21st NCAA Tournament in school history as the No. 11 seed in Milwaukee as part of the Midwest Region.
– ISU is 19-20 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … T.J. Otzelberger is the eighth coach to lead Iowa State to the NCAA Tournament and the third to lead the Cyclones in their first season leading the program (Tim Floyd, Steve Prohm).
– Otzelberger is the only coach to lead the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament in his first season while coming off a losing season.
– Iowa State has made the tournament in eight of the last 11 seasons … the Cyclones are one of 14 teams with eight tournament berths since the 2011-12 season.
– ISU is a No. 11 seed for the first time in school history.
– The Cyclones are 0-4 all-time against No. 1 seeds (Michigan State, 2000; North Carolina, 2005; Kentucky, 2012; Virginia, 2016) … three of the four teams were the number one overall seeds and went on to win the national title with all three games being played in the opponent’s home state.
– Iowa State is 11-8 playing in the Midwest Region.
– The farthest the Cyclones have advanced in the NCAA Tournament is the Final Four in 1944.
– ISU, which was one of eight teams to qualify in 1944, won its first game vs. Pepperdine to advance to the semifinals.
– The farthest Iowa State has advanced in the NCAA Tournament since the current 64/65/68-team field, which began in 1985, is the Elite Eight in 2000.
– Iowa State advanced to the Sweet Sixteen five times (1986, 1997, 2000, 2014, 2016) in the modern era.
– The Cyclones have won their first game in 10 of their last 13 NCAA Tournament appearances.
– ISU has had two players lead the NCAA Tournament in scoring average (minimum of three games played) during their respective careers … Dedric Willoughby averaged 24.7 ppg in 1997 (3 games) and Marcus Fizer led all players in 2000 with a 20.0 ppg average in four games played.
– Individual NCAA Tournament records: Points- 34 by Dedric Willoughby (vs. UCLA in 1997), 34 by Lafester Rhodes (vs. Georgia Tech in 1988) 34 by Dustin Hogue (vs. UCONN in 2014); Rebounds- 20 by Jared Homan (vs. North Carolina in 2005); Assists- 11 by Jamaal Tinsley (vs. UCLA in 2000); Blocks- 8 by Kelvin Cato (vs. Illinois State in 1997); Field Goals- 15 by Dustin Hogue (vs. UCONN in 2014); 3-Pointers- 8 by Dedric Willoughby (vs. UCLA in 1997).
– The first time two teams from the same conference played in the NCAA Tournament in the same year was 1944 when ISU and Missouri from the Big Six were among the 8 teams chosen.

TOURNAMENT TIDBITS
– Iowa State owns a 6-8 record vs. eight teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament field: Baylor (0-2), Creighton (1-0), Iowa (1-0), Kansas (0-2), Memphis (1-0), Texas (1-1), TCU (1-1), Texas Tech (1-2).
– Eight of ISU’s 22 opponents earned tournament bids.
– ISU is playing in Wisconsin for the first time since the 2017 NCAA Tournament when it beat Nevada in the first round and fell to Purdue in the second round as a No. 5 seed.
– All-time, ISU is 1-4 (1-1 NCAA Tournament; 0-3 at Marquette) in games played in Milwaukee.
– The eight coaches to lead the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament are: T.J. Otzelberger, Steve Prohm, Fred Hoiberg, Wayne Morgan, Larry Eustachy, Tim Floyd, Johnny Orr and Louis Menze.
– Otzelberger is coaching in his third NCAA Tournament (2017, 2018, 2022) and his fourth postseason overall (2019 NIT) … he is looking for his first postseason win, having lost his first two NCAA Tournament games to No. 1 seed Gonzaga (66-46) and No. 5 seed Ohio State (81-73).
Hunter leads all true freshmen in the NCAA Tournament with 157 assists.

BY THE NUMBERS
2 – The highest seed ISU has ever been was a No. 2 seed in 2000 and 2001.
6 – Six of nine eligible Big 12 teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament this season.
24 – ISU is one of 24 schools nationally to place both its men’s and women’s teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament … just 12 teams played in both tournaments and in a bowl game.
84 – Total NCAA Tournament experience (in minutes) on the ISU roster, the ninth-fewest among major conference teams in the tournament.

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