The Iowa state Cyclones made a championship statement Saturday night in their victory over West Virginia. The freshly crowned Big 12 champions upset the number 11 ranked Mountaineers in a BIG 12 championship game by a final score of 80 to 74.
Iowa state was led by senior point guard Monte Morris who led the team in scoring with 17 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. West Virginia came out the gates strong with an early 8-point lead. However, this lead was short lived as the Cyclones went on a run of their own to take a 35-29 lead at halftime. This slug-fest of a basketball game was back and forth the entire game until Iowa State finally began to pull away late in the second half. The play of the game arrived in emphatic fashion at the 2:13 mark of the second half when Iowa State forward Deonte Burton threw down a ferocious dunk. The amazing slam was the final nail in the coffin for West Virginia.
This victory gave the Cyclones an automatic NCAA tournament bid. Even though the Cyclones were surely headed towards the big dance regardless, the win will surely improve the Cyclones seeding in the upcoming NCAA tournament. With their current momentum, the Cyclones will be a team to look out for in the NCAA tournament. With March Madness approaching the Cyclones appear primed to make a deep postseason run.