Phil Knight Invite schedule set for Iowa State


Gabe Kalscheur surveys the floor during Iowa State’s 67-50 win over Missouri on Jan. 29 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Anthony Hanson

The 2022-23 Iowa State men’s basketball schedule was finalized Monday afternoon when the field for the Phil Knight Invitational was announced. 

The Cyclones are facing Villanova in the first round of the holiday tournament played Nov. 23 in Portland, Oregon. Iowa State will play three guaranteed games on a neutral court at the Moda Center in Portland.

Villanova finished 30-8 last season and reached the final four. The Wildcats lost to the eventual national champion, the Kansas Jayhawks, in the 2022 March Madness. 

The Cyclones are fresh off a Sweet 16 run in 2022 and are joined in the eight-team bracket by Villanova and several other blue-blood programs. 

The winner of Iowa State and Villanova’s Thursday afternoon matchup will face the winner of North Carolina and Portland.

Connecticut will face Oregon, and Alabama will face Michigan State to make up the other half of the mid-season tournament bracket’s first round.

Iowa State and head coach T.J. Otzelberger have been acclimated to the neutral site holiday tournament in the head coach’s short tenure at the helm. 

Last season, Iowa State broke out on the national stage when it claimed a victory at the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament.

The Cyclones, behind 30 points from Izaiah Brockington, topped No. 25 Xavier in the first round from Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 24. Brockington’s efforts were enough to earn the senior transfer a career-high scoring night. Freshman point guard Tyrese Hunter also notched a career-high in Brooklyn against Xavier.

On Nov. 26, the Cyclones faced No. 9 ranked Memphis to cap off its trip to New York City. Gabe Kalscheur added another 30-point performance to Iowa State’s young season against Memphis. 

Kalscheur took the award for the mid-season tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and Iowa State took the trophy for the NIT Season Tip-Off. 

To make a run at a mid-season tournament trophy this season, Iowa State will need to top a national NCAA basketball powerhouse. 

The Wildcats have reached the final four in three of the last six seasons. Including national championship wins in both 2016 and 2018. 

Legendary Villanova head coach Jay Wright retired in April 2022. Wright retired a two-time national champion and a six-time Big East coach of the year.

The Cyclones will face a Wildcat team led by first-year head coach Kyle Neptune.