By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Iowa State’s loss to Texas in last week’s Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals was not a good thing. I refuse to come on here and make that argument. I’m of the opinion that in no scenario is losing ever good for anybody. Period.
However, after talking with a handful of Cyclones after Iowa State was selected as an 8-seed (and will face the 9-seed UConn in Thursday’s NCAA Tournament), I’m not so sure that the loss wasn’t a bit of a wake-up call at the very least. It was kind of a, "Hey Iowa State…IT’S MARCH," type of thing you know?
In fact, one Cyclone told me that the loss likely humbled his team a little bit heading into the Big Dance.
“We probably got a little full of ourselves before the Texas game in all honesty," said senior guard Scott Christopherson. "Everybody was telling us how good we are and we started listening to them. We got smacked in the mouth. I think that everybody kind of got brought back to reality a little bit and I think that is good for us."
(I love the honesty. Christopherson always has been a class act and the Cyclone Nation will miss him next year.)
With a win against Texas, one can only imagine that Iowa State would have at the very least been a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament and most importantly avoided the dreaded 8-9 game in the NCAA Tournament that it will swim in towards the weeks end.
Because of the loss, the Cyclones now have a date with the defending national champs and you guessed it, everybody not named "Gottlieb" is predicting an early exit for an Iowa State program that hasn’t danced since 2005.
Iowa State is 7-2 after losses this year. The two defeats happened on the road at Michigan and at Kansas, two tournament teams I might add.
"I always feel that we play the best when we feel disrespected or we are the underdog or whatever you want to call it," added Christopherson.
Iowa State’s three starting guards combined to go 7-of-26 against Texas in Kansas City. That type of shooting can’t happen two times out in a row for this strong of an offensive basketball team can it?
I say no.
“We’ve shown this year that we’ve had some losses that we weren’t very happy with," said Christopherson. "We’ve bounced back from them and I remember the last time that we lost to Texas at Texas, I think the next Saturday we beat Kansas at home. I think we’ve shown that we are capable of bouncing back and this will be as good of a test as any for us to show that.”
I don’t know about you all, but I like Iowa State’s chances to play one of its best games of the year on Thursday.
Chris Allen on the Texas loss…
“I feel like people took it to heart. A lot of guys are talking different and acting different. There’s a different vibe and it feels good. When we were winning, there was something that wasn’t feeling right. But after that loss, I feel like some of the guys bought in. Some of the guys who weren’t with the other guys, they bought in.”