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5 Reasons Iowa State Cyclones Can Make a Run to the Sweet 16

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Reasons Iowa State Can Make a Run to the Sweet 16

2013 March Madness
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It’s March Madness time, the time when every game matters for every team still in the battle. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 1 seed or a 16 seed, from this point on losses knock you out.

March Madness is the most exciting time of the year and it never disappoints. There is guaranteed to be at least one buzzer beater, players making names for themselves, players stepping up when it counts, Cinderellas shocking the world and a champion being crowned.

Every team needs to play the best games it has played all season to avoid stumbling on this year’s Cinderella. There is no room for mistakes. The stakes are as high as they will get all year. Who will stumble early? Who will advance further than expected? What will Bob Knight throw onto the floor? What story lines will develop as we progress deeper into the tournament?

With so many questions left unanswered, we have only one more night to wait before it all tips off. The play-in games are nearly complete. All of the action begins tomorrow night.

The beauty of college basketball is that once a team is in, wins will advance them. It doesn’t matter whether you should be there or not, you have the opportunity to upset anyone.

The Iowa State Cyclones have the matchups and talent to be able to make a run into the Sweet Sixteen this year. While they may not be as flashy as Kansas or Michigan, they certainly have a bright side to their game.

By looking at their strengths, I will prove why Iowa State can advance much further than anyone may think.

Here are the five Reasons Iowa State can make a run to the Sweet Sixteen.

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Three Point Shooting

2013 March Madness
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State is currently ranked fourth in points scored per game. The Cyclones have made 325 three point field goals this year, roughly 9.8 per game. This is better than the second place Canisius Golden Griffins, who have sank 286 three point field goals.

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The Element of Surpise

2013 March Madness
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Not many teams are giving Iowa State too hard of a look. While it isn’t being completely ignored, it isn’t receiving the attention that a team of its caliber should be receiving. This will play a big part in Iowa State’s Sweet Sixteen run.

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They are Under-Seeded

2013 March Madness
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Iowa State finished 2013 with a record of 22-11 overall, and 11-7 in the Big 12. The team on paper deserves the seed it has.

On the court, however, Iowa State plays well enough to have been a seven or eight seed. This could make a difference starting tomorrow.

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Strength of Schedule

2013 NCAA March Madness
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State finished the season with an RPI of 33. Its conference RPI was 22. It played a number six team twice in the Kansas Jayhawks, a number 11 and 13 in the Kansas State Wildcats and a number 13 in the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

They are more than prepared to face some strong talent.

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The Matchups

2013 March Madness
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Iowa State could potentially get the right matchups to allow them to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The first round opponent for the Cyclones is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish are only a 7 seed, and the 10 seed beats a ten seed roughly 40 percent of the time, which is relatively high.

After that, they will most likely have the Ohio State Buckeyes, who in my opinion are overrated. Many feel as though Ohio State is ranked too high and could stumble against the right team. Enter Iowa State.

After that, it will play either New Mexico, Harvard, Arizona or Belmont. All of these teams are teams that Iowa State could contend with.