Notebook: Cyclones didn’t look past 14-seed

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas — PuttingGeorges Niang’s injury aside for a moment, Iowa State played one heck of a basketball game on Friday night at the AT&T Center in a convincing 93-75 win over N.C. Central.

Proof: The Cyclones made 64 percent of their shots. Iowa State out-scored UNCC 48-32 in the paint. Five Cyclones scored 14 points or more in the NCAA Tournament victory.

“We really played a really complete basketball game,” Fred Hoiberg said. “We are playing as well as any team in the country right now after three great games in Kansas City and this game tonight.”

The first two days of the 2014 NCAA Tournament are going to be remembered for upsets, but razor sharp focus kept the Cyclones from landing on that list of high seeds that went down. N.C. Central hung around for a while in the first half, but that was it. The game was never in doubt during the second 20.

“I think the one benefit of playing the late game on Friday is you get to see all of the upsets happen,” Hoiberg said. “You see Mercer beat Duke. You see North Dakota State beat Oklahoma. You see Harvard beat Cincinnati. I knew our guys would come out focused and ready to go. They didn’t have a choice.” 

Sophomore guard Naz Long echoed his head coach. All day long, the Cyclones were reminded of what could happen if they overlooked the Eagles, a quality team that entered Friday on a 20-game winning streak.

“Throughout the day we saw Duke lose,” Long said. “We looked up on the board and saw Coastal Carolina giving Virginia a shot. It goes to show that anybody can get beat on any given day.”

A quick look at UNC

The East Region’s 6-seed, North Carolina, survived a scare from 11thseeded Providence. The Tar Heels fought off a 36-point barrage from Providence’s Bryce Cotton.

“I saw their dunk show after shoot around time the other day and it was pretty darn impressive,” Hoiberg said of the Tar Heels. “They have great athletes. They are physical and strong. They play fast. Marcus Paige is one of the top point guards in the country. It is an excellent basketball team that is coached by a hall-of-famer in Roy Williams. It was a pleasure playing against his Kansas teams back in the old Big 8 days. We will look forward to that opportunity.”

Iowa native Marcus Paige led the Tar Heels with 19 points. We will have plenty of North Carolina coverage coming your way on Saturday from San Antonio.  

Hoiberg on Monte Morris, DeAndre Kane and Dustin Hogue

“I thought they were terrific. Monte did the same thing as his first Big 12 game. He went out and had 10 assists and one turnover. He went out tonight and played a really good floor game. He knocked down a couple of shots. DeAndre was DeAndre and played a complete game. He scored it with rebounds and assists. Dustin I thought was a difference maker. He was all over the glass. We posted him up out there on multiple occasions. We played him on Ingram because we thought the size would bother him a little bit. He drew a big charge and helped us extend that lead.”

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