Taking a look at Iowa State’s path through NCAA Tournament


Jacob Rice

The Iowa State women’s basketball team places its university logo on to their “ticket punched” March Madness sign The Iowa State women’s basketball team celebrates on stage after ISU’s Big 12 Championship win over Texas, 61-51. Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO, Mar. 12, 2023.

Christian Royston, Sports Editor

The bracket for the NCAA Basketball Championship was released Sunday, giving Iowa State fans a look at what to look forward to over the coming weeks.

The men’s bracket was released at 5 p.m. Sunday, while the women’s bracket was released at 7 p.m. Sunday. The men’s team will start the NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed, while the women will be a five seed.

Iowa State men’s basketball team goes dancing

After finishing their run in the Big 12 Championship with a loss to Kansas in the semifinals, the Cyclones will look to finish out the season with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Cyclones will start with a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina, to take on the winner of the 11-seed play-in game. Mississippi State will face off against Pittsburgh Wednesday for a chance to take on Iowa State.

The Cyclones were placed in the Midwest quarter of the bracket, which features many tough matchups if the Cyclones progress.

Iowa State’s in-state rivals Iowa and Drake are in the same side of the bracket, with No. 8 Iowa taking on No. 9 Auburn in the first round, and No. 12 Drake taking on No. 5 Miami. The No. 1 seed that Iowa State has the possibility of going up against is Houston, which finished the season with a 31-3 record.

Other challenges for the Cyclones could be Big 12 rival No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Xavier and No. 4 Indiana. If the bracket goes chalk, the Cyclones could be in for a challenge as they would take on Xavier in the second round.

Although the Midwest region poses some threats, March has shown time and time again that anything can happen in the NCAA Tournament. The first challenge the Cyclones will focus on is their matchup with Mississippi State or Pitt.

The game against either Mississippi State or Pitt will take place at 2:10 p.m. Friday. The game will be aired on TruTV.

Iowa State women’s basketball team continues rolling

The Iowa State women’s basketball team made history Sunday night, finishing out its Big 12 Championship run with a win over Texas to secure the title. That historic run was the first time since 2001 that the Cyclones won the title.

The win in Kansas City, Missouri, also earned the Cyclones an automatic trip to the NCAA Tournament. 

As the selection show progressed Sunday, there was one thing the Cyclones would have liked to receive. The No. 4 seed.

Getting a top-four seed in the tournament would give the Cyclones home-court advantage through the first two rounds. After beating Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas in the same weekend, there was plenty of reason to earn a top seed in the tournament.

However, the Cyclones fell just short, earning a No. 5 seed and placing in the Seattle 3 region of the bracket. The Cyclones will face off against No. 12 Toledo in the first round Saturday.

Toledo will be a familiar team for Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly, as he started his head coaching career there. 

The Cyclones will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, for the first two rounds, as Tennessee earned the No. 4 seed. If the bracket goes chalk, the Cyclones will have to play Tennessee at home after the matchup with Toledo.

Similar to the men’s bracket, the women also have to deal with many tough teams in the Seattle 3 region. 

The No. 1 seed in the Seattle 3 region is Virginia Tech, who are 27-4 on the year and entering the tournament with an 11-game winning streak. Virginia Tech also won the ACC Championship. If the bracket goes chalk, the Cyclones will face Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16.

Other threats in the Seattle 3 region include No. 2 UConn and No. 3 Ohio State. Both really tough teams to beat.

The Cyclones also have the small possibility of seeing No. 6 North Carolina in the Elite Eight, who was a team that gave the Cyclones issues early in the season when they still had Stephanie Soares.

The last team that the Cyclones could technically face is No. 7 Baylor, who the Cyclones beat in both the last road matchups, or No. 10 Alabama. Baylor and Alabama face off in the first round.

The Cyclones start the NCAA Tournament against Toledo at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be streamed live on ESPN2.