Despite the incredible offensive numbers posted by Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane, the Iowa State Cyclones lost to the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday night by a score of 80-73. Ejim had a robust 30 points and 16 rebounds while Kane delivered a near triple-double with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Big 12 Conference has been an absolute beast this year and is arguably the top league in all of college basketball. As many as seven Big 12 teams can make very strong cases to be included in this year’s NCAA Tournament. And while I’m sure Cyclones fans are discouraged by tonight’s result, I don’t believe they should be. Playing K State in the Octagon of Doom has proven — over the years — to be a daunting challenge. It certainly helps too, that the Wildcats are a terrific team.
With exceptionally gifted players like Ejim and Kane at Fred Hoiberg‘s disposal, come tournament time, anything is possible. Especially when you consider the fact that I haven’t even mentioned Georges Niang yet. Niang gives Hoiberg a third dynamic, offensive weapon who is capable of going off on any given night. If a team in the entire country possesses a better trio of scorers, I have yet to see them play.
Iowa State only plays seven players, so they aren’t very deep. But as mentioned, they’re explosive and tremendously talented. If Hoiberg can find some consistent play from Matt Thomas and Naz Long off the bench, look out.
This month’s NCAA Tournament is going to be incredible. In fact, this season in itself has been nothing short of spectacular while also being full of surprises. I’m absolutely convinced that their is no elite team this season and that should make for one heck of a wide open tournament.
A team like Iowa State — that is loaded with offensive firepower — will do some great damage later in the month.
Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27