The only thing Iowa State fans in Manhattan have to worry about Friday night, is figuring out how to get tickets for Sunday’s game. The few and the proud that made the trip to MSG with their deep, corn-money filled pocketbooks are going to have a blast watching the Cyclones get to the Elite 8. And the answer is yes, for those of you asking, I am the jealous blogger that will be watching, tweeting, sweating, and swearing from the comfort of my couch.
Here are the top 5 reasons why ISU will advance to take on the winner of Michigan State/Virginia.
5) Shabazz Napier is Polished, while DeAndre Kane is a Man.
Napier may be the best player left in the tournament, according to Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports. DeAndre Kane may be the biggest badass dude left, and one that former Cyclone Paul Shirley would want on his side.
At least twice a game, Kane goes down with what looks like a broken elbow, torn Achilles, lacerated jaw, or punctured ribs. Every time though, the guy gets up. One would be hard-pressed to think of a tougher player in the college game. No offense to Coach Tom Herrion at Marshall, but can you imagine the type of player Kane would be had he came to Ames from the jump?
4) Crowds don’t win games, usually.
ISU neutral site games this season: 9-0. Road games: 4-6. Since every asshole from Connecticut is trying to go to The Garden for tonight’s game, it could feel like a road game for Fred Hoiberg’s crew. Hopefully the Clone fans that do make it can drown out a real gem in this Storrs, CT original:
HUSKIES! UCONN! WOO!”
3) Rebounding won’t be an issue, again.
Losing Niang was huge from the aspect of having a body against a lengthy North Carolina team. The Tar Heels were only able to out-rebound ISU by one, as Niang’s replacement, Daniel Edozie, grabbed 4 rebounds, which is what Georges averages per game. Any guesses towards who the top rebounder for the Huskies could be? 6’1” Shabazz Napier at 5.9 per game. Worried level: .01/10
2) Hoiberg > Ollie
Haven’t heard a whole lot of talk about Kevin Ollie making the jump to the NBA for a coaching purpose, despite the fantastic lip dirt.
1) Johnny Orr
As cliché as “the team of destiny” talks are, this could be one of those scenarios. Who knows, maybe this is the end of the line for Iowa State and a great season will end at the Sweet 16? Johnny never took the Cyclones past the Sweet 16 and Hoiberg as a player never got past the round of 32. Johnny Freaking Orr was a righteous dude. Being at the Northern Illinois game the day he passed was a surreal scene. The JO patch ISU players are wearing promotes the “tough guy” mentality that Coach Orr instilled. For one more night, Johnny will be looking down and watching the better team get the win.
Follow Gabe on Twitter: @BarstoolGilson