Iowa State fans are in for a treat on Nov. 17 and I don’t expect the atmosphere at Hilton Coliseum to disappoint. When Michigan visits Ames, it will mark just the 13th time in the 76-year history of the NCAA that a national finalist from the year before came to town.
The Wolverines will be the first nonconference national finalist to visit, as Kansas has a major stronghold on the list. Oklahoma (twice) and Kansas State (once) also visited the year following trips to the sport’s biggest game.
The Cyclones are 6-6 (3-3 at Hilton Coliseum) when hosting a national finalist, and actually started 2-0 by beating KU in March of 1941 and OU in 1948. The games at Hilton Coliseum have been good ones too, being decided by an average of just 8.5 points.
Michigan will certainly provide a formidable foe for the Cyclones, especially as just the third game of the regular season. It also marks the start of an incredibly important stretch for the Cyclones, who will be breaking in a fairly inexperienced lineup.
After ISU faces the Wolverines it travels to BYU for a game three days later. A game against UMKC is sits between the road contest in Provo and matchups against Auburn, Northern Iowa and Iowa. Michigan, BYU, UNI and Iowa were a combined 101-48 (.677) last season.
We’ll learn a lot about the Cyclones during that three and a half week stretch. If we can protect our home court as we’ve done so well the past two years (32-3), it will go a long way in making a third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
At Hilton Coliseum vs. NCAA national finalists from previous year
Jan. 21, 1989 – vs. Oklahoma – L, 109-100 (OT)
Feb. 22, 1989 – vs. Kansas* – W, 97-89
March 4, 1992 – vs. Kansas – W, 70-66
Jan. 31, 2004 – vs. Kansas – W, 68-61
Jan. 24, 2009 – vs. Kansas* – L, 82-67
Feb. 25, 2013 – vs. Kansas – L, 108-96 (OT)
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