As the season winds down and the seniors get their well deserved send offs, Hilton Magic gets one last chance to show itself as ISU takes on Oklahoma St. Currently ranked number 15, Oklahoma St. can gain a share of first place in the Big 12 race. Obviously this is a huge game for Ok. St, but what about Iowa State? Iowa State is in desperate need of another big time win. Sure Kansas St. was a solid win, and Baylor on the road was good too, but losses to teams that could barely beat their women's teams (@Texas, @Texas Tech) and one loss that may or may not show up in the "Bad Loss" category (@Iowa) could be the potential reason for an ISU NIT birth. Coupled with the fact that ISU has had only one decent game in which they have remained cool in crunch time (KSU) and the "could've, would've, should've" games such as both Kansas games and the first Oklahoma St. game, it is safe to say that the season may be on the line Wednesday night.
Finishing out the year @West Virginia is recipe for a potential nightmare. Iowa State could barely beat WVU with the help of a little Hilton Magic. What happens when they travel to a place that has seen it's fair share of Big East basketball? That West Virginia game spells T-R-A-P and it's also safe to say that a win on Wednesday would relieve any pressure the team (and the fans) may feel to win on the road in a tough environment.
In Hoiberg we trust, but can he prepare the team for a team that has two players with first round draft picks stamped on their foreheads? (Smart and Nash) I trust Fred, but this year, he has yet to show that ISU can lean on coaching in the final minutes of a game. The best example I have is in OT of the 2nd KU game in which ISU settled for threes when they should've been driving to the basket a la Will Clyburn. The foul shooting had been going well that game until (cough) Lucious (cough) missed what would've surely been the free throw that would've put away KU and sealed a tournament birth for ISU. Though I'm rambling, the point is this: Where was the aggressiveness during OT? Why settle for tough threes when trips to the line would've kept the game a little closer? 41 threes vs. the 39 two pointers for one team? To that I say wow.
Let's hope Hoiberg has the guys hyped up for Wednesday, for the season may be on the line.