Williams Blog: All eyes on the prize

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You hear that? Opportunity is knocking on Iowa State’s door. Tonight, in front of what is expected to be a massive flock of Cyclone junkies in the Sprint Center, Iowa State will meet Baylor in hopes of winning its first Big 12 Tournament championship since 2000. 

There is without question a special feel in this 70 degree air here in Kansas City and now, as a slim 1.5 point favorite, the Cyclones simply need to close against a team that beat them just a few weeks ago. 

The key to tonight: Avoid the KU hangover. Friday night’s semifinal was an emotional win that unquestionably took a lot out of the Cyclones both physically and mentally. Iowa State can’t be happy with beating Kansas. Judging by the look on Fred Hoiberg’s face during postgame locker room interviews, he will have his guys ready to go. 

Hoiberg, a former player, knows all too well that having the opportunity to play for a championship doesn’t happen every year. 

Iowa State is a 1.5 favorite over a red hot Baylor team that has won 10 of 11 games. 


Baylor coach Scott Drew after his team’s victory over Texas on Friday…

"Iowa State’s a great team.  And we just played them.  And I know they’ll have some extra hunger because it’s tough to beat a real good team after you just played them.  We played one of our better games of the year. And, again, they’re a team that can win a national championship and I think they’re going to be real successful in the NCAA tournament."

Pep rally/TV info

Iowa State’s pep rally in Kansas City will go down at 6:05 at the Power and Light District stage this evening.

The title game will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m.


*** ESPN "bracketologist" Joe Lunardi moved Iowa State up to a 3-seed (in San Antonio) after Friday’s win. 

*** Jerry Palm from CBS still has the Cyclones on the 4-line (in San Diego).

*** According to Randy Peterson with the Des Moines Register, Fred Hoiberg will receive a $100,000 bonus if Iowa State wins the Big 12 Tournament. 

Chris Williams


Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old ( He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.