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Basketball

January 18, 2016: A night to remember

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You should probably remember where you were, and what you were doing, the night of January 18, 2016.

Were you at home with your family, or studying? I, like most of you, was at Hilton Coliseum, and if we have anything else in common you won’t ever forget that fact.

January 18, 2016. The day Iowa State beat the Oklahoma Sooners, the No. 1 team in the land, at Hilton Coliseum. The program’s first win over the nation’s No. 1 since beating No. 1 Kansas in 1957.

The people that were there that night remember it. Gary "The Roland Rocket," Gary Thompson was an All-American for Iowa State, some guy named Wilt Chamberlain was a sophomore for the Jayhawks. 

It was cold as heck outside, and the Armory was full to the brim.

That sounds familiar. 

Thompson (the basketball player) is long gone and his number has been in the rafters longer than a great number of Iowa State fans have been alive.

This time, Georges Niang was the All-American leading the way. He doesn’t have a name like the "Roland Rocket," but the kid from Massachusetts is just as cool. 

It wasn’t the guy many regard as the best big man ever playing the villain but a high-scoring, electric shooting guard named Buddy Hield. He hasn’t scored 100 points in a game, but he did score 46 at Allen Fieldhouse. 

The Cyclones moved from the Armory in 1971 but their current home was full to the brim. Hilton Coliseum was the home of the state’s biggest party on this night and the roars of the crowd proves it time after time.

Oh, and it was cold as heck with a high temperature of eight degrees. 

This was Niang hitting timely shot after timely shot. This was Monte Morris playing one of his best games in Cardinal and Gold.

It was Abdel Nader proving the haters that doubted him wrong one drive to the basket at a time. It was Jameel McKay finishing down low and redirecting shot after shot, most notably a Ryan Spangler shot late in the second half that nearly reached the seats.

It was Cyclone Alley chanting, "Spangler sucks," any time he was involved in a play and Hield hitting contested 3-pointers, one after the other.

It was Matt Thomas taking over as the inbounder and drawing a technical foul on OU’s Isaiah Cousins on a perfectly draw play by Steve Prohm

Speaking of Prohm, this gives him his first marquee Big 12 win. One week ago people questioned the way he was handling this team. He changed what he was doing and it’s become clear in the two games since that loss to Texas that now feels like it was ages ago.

Monday night at Hilton Coliseum was history 59 years in the making.

Where were you January 18, 2016?

You should probably remember, it might come up again.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 59 years. 

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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