2013 NCAA Tournament: Iowa State Looking to Run to Sweet Sixteen

By Joseph Nardone
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know how it happened, but it has. Maybe it is because of the awesomeness that is Fred Hoiberg or that they are not supposed to be this good, but still, I don’t have the slightest. It could be the way they have a run-and-gun type of philosophy and that they chuck up more 3-pointers than humanly possible, but regardless of reason, I have become a huge fan of watching the Iowa State Cyclones.

Iowa State pretty much plays a version of basketball that Hoiberg dreamed up in his skull. As a player, Hoiberg was known to throw up some 3-pointers, but was not really known for his ability to get up and down the court with as much speed as some other players who had more natural talent. It is as if Hoiberg decided he was going to have more athletic clones of himself play all five positions on whatever team he was coaching.

The Cyclones’ goal is to literally run you out of the gym. However, they do have a slightly different style than most of the other up-tempo teams in the nation. The Iowa State Hoibergs (Cute name, right?) like to push the ball, drive to the hoop and then look for a trailer to bang a triple from as far away as three states over. This style of play has led to some pretty exciting victories and some not-so-swell losses.

Hoiberg has his team rely on the jumper as if it were an easy thing to make. Yet, the way he has his team pushing the ball does leave the players spotting up behind the arc more open than not. Hoiberg and his players have made a fairly inefficient way to play basketball an efficient venture.

Yes, in today’s game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Iowa State will be outmatched talent-wise. However, the Cyclones are going to do what they do best: push the ball, chuck threes and run around the court until somebody is calling for an oxygen mask.

Is it the smartest brand of hoops? I don’t know, but it happens to be the most exciting brand.

Where there is a Hoirberg, there is a way!


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone

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