San Antonio, Texas -- AT&T Center
Sunday, 5:15 p.m. ET
CBS (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr)
"Adversity hit us tonight, and hit us hard. We'll see what we're made of." – Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg following the news that Georges Niang is out for the season
"I feel we're playing as well as anybody in the nation right now after what we did in the Big 12 Tournament to beat three excellent teams that are all playing in this field with Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor." – Hoiberg
Season to Date: Iowa State enters Sunday's contest with a 27-7 (11-7 Big 12) record. The Cyclones went 12-6 against teams in the NCAA Tournament, including wins over No. 2 seeds Michigan (77-70) and Kansas (94-83). Hoiberg's squad upset the Jayhawks in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament before topping Baylor, 74-65, for the conference championship.
NCAAT Results: The third-seeded Cyclones defeated No. 14 seed N.C. Central, 93-75, on Friday night. Iowa State shot 63.6 percent from the floor while holding the Eagles to 46.2 percent. Georges Niang led five Cyclones in double-digit scoring with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
Niang Out: The sophomore forward suffered a fracture in his right foot during the second half of Iowa State's win over N.C. Central. The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder was the Cyclones' third-leading scorer (16.7 ppg) and represented their largest presence in the post. With Niang sidelined, Iowa State is down to six players in its rotation – none taller than 6-foot-6 – that have averaged more than 6.0 minutes per game on the season.
Senior All-American: Melvin Ejim has been the driving force in Iowa State's success this season, averaging a team-high 18.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Big 12 Player of the Year is shooting 51.4 percent on the season, including a 34.5 percent mark from 3-point range (41-of-119). Ejim has proven to be a stat sheet stuffer as well, tallying nine offensive rebounds, seven 3-pointers, 10 assists, six blocks and six steals over his last five games.
Tempo, Tempo, Tempo: Iowa State flourishes in the open court, generating a 54.3 percent effective field goal percentage – good for 18th nationally, according to kenpom.com – on the top remaining tempo in the NCAA Tournament (15th; 71.4). The Cyclones have eclipsed the 80-point threshold in 12 games this season, including 10 outings in the 90s.
Stats Snapshot: Iowa State ranks second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage (47.6) and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (35.5), while checking in at fifth in field goal percentage defense (41.6) and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (33.6). Nationally, the Cyclones lead the country in assists per game (18.6), rank second in assist-turnover ratio (1.77) and 22nd in made 3-point field goals per game (8.3).
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated Iowa State, 92-65, to advance to the Sweet 16 on Mar. 20, 2005 in Charlotte, N.C. Sean May led UNC with 24 points and 17 rebounds, while Marvin Williams scored 20 points and Rashad McCants added 17 points.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 3-0. Two of those wins have come in the NCAA Tournament's round of 32. UNC's 73-51 win over Iowa State in the 1995 NCAA Tournament marked Hoiberg's final game as a Cyclones player.
11 Monte Morris (6-2, 170, Fr.) - 6.2 ppg, 3.8 apg
50 DeAndre Kane (6-4, 200, Sr.) - 17.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 5.8 apg
22 Dustin Hogue (6-6, 215, Jr.) - 10.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg
3 Melvin Ejim (6-6, 220, Sr.) - 18.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg ?
15 Naz Long (6-4, 205, So.) - 7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
21 Matt Thomas (6-3, 200, Fr.) - 5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
(Photos by USA Today Sports)