On a weekend of historic upsets, Iowa State’s win over Notre Dame probably won’t end up being much more than a blip. But it should register pretty high on the shock meter merely because of the lopsided result.
The 10th-seeded Cyclones dismantled the seventh-seeded Irish, 76-58, in the late game Friday at UD Arena, the second straight year they’ve advanced to the round of 32.
They’ll get second-seeded Ohio State on Sunday at a time to be determined.
Forwards Georges Niang (19 points) and Melvin Ejim (17) paced the Cyclones (23-11), who were playing before a sellout crowd of 12,495 that was solidly behind them (maybe some ND haters among the leftover Buckeye fans?). They finished the first half on a 14-4 run for a 35-23 lead.
Playing in gaudy lime green shoes and socks with matching trim, the plodding Irish (25-10) committed 14 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and were just two sluggish to keep up with the athletic Big 12 team.
Iowa State, one of the top-scoring teams in the nation at 80.1 points per game, stretched its lead to 51-33 with just more than 13 minutes to go. A couple of minutes later, it was 20.
Forwards Tom Knight and Jack Cooley had 14 points apiece for ND, which lost its first game in the tournament last season to Xavier. Coach Mike Brey falls to 6-11 in NCAA tourney games.
Percy Gibson, a sophomore center from Detroit, made his first appearance for the Cyclones with 2:18 left. He signed with Dayton two years ago but pulled out of his letter-of-intent when coach Brian Gregory left for Georgia Tech and followed former UD assistant Cornell Mann to Ames, Iowa. He’s expected to become a full-time starter next season.