It’s after midnight, and I’m just getting to the blog. I spent the past 90 minutes answering tweets and Facebook posts. Cyclone fans are furious, frustrated, and heartbroken. Social media was not for the meek Monday night.
Kansas beat the Cyclones in overtime. That’s in the books. But any objective person watching the game thinks Iowa State should have won in regulation. The officials made two horrendous, indefensible calls in the game’s final minutes. The Big 12 will likely issue an apology, or acknowledgement, but that won’t make many Cyclone fans feel better.
As many Jayhawk fans pointed out, bad calls go both ways. True. However, there’s a distinction between a bad call in the first half, and a game-outcome-altering bad call.
Iowa State needs to play better defense. Offensively, the Cyclones made a school record 17 threes (Tyrus McGee, are you kidding me?), took good care of the basketball, and shot free throws well. They still lost. Blown calls or not, credit Kansas for finding a way. Again. In overtime. Again. The Jayhawks just keep coming. Too much, as it turns out. The late dunk by Elijah Johnson was bad enough that Bill Self made Johnson apologize. Johnson didn’t have to say he was sorry for his other 37 points.
Too bad the ugly ending, and that includes the foolish fans who threw things, casts a shadow over what was, prior to that, the best atmosphere at Hilton Coliseum in at least 13 years. Brent Musburger bragging about Hilton Magic living up to the hype, instead of talking about the pretty ladies in the stands, is great publicity for ISU basketball. As for the game, tremendously entertaining.
The lasting ESPN broadcast image for me is Fred Hoiberg’s wife, Carol, trying to console their son as he’s heartbroken over the loss. Anyone with a beating heart felt bad for the little guy. It was that kind of night for Iowa State fans, though most didn’t want to cry, they wanted to curse.
Cyclone and Hawkeye fans have had enough gut punches in one season that they should sympathize with one another. For the most part, we know that’s not happening. So it goes with a rivalry.
Our new sports reporter, Michael Admire, covered his first Hawkeye game Saturday in Lincoln. Iowa blew a 19 point lead. Admire hit his first Cyclone game Monday night. Iowa State let Kansas escape again. Will somebody please invite this guy to a big win?