The 3-peat will not happen. The streak of victories in "Hilton South" is over.
Oklahoma bested Iowa State 79-76 on Thursday night's quarterfinal matchup of the Big 12 Tournament. The story of the game was the amazing play by Buddy Hield and Georges Niang, the senior leaders of their respective teams. Hield finished the night with 39 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Sooners, while Niang matched a career high with 31 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Cyclones were down by six points at halftime and Oklahoma increased their lead in the first few minutes of the second half. Head coach Steve Prohm drew a technical with 10:45 remaining in the game after a string of questionable calls by the officials, and the Sooners held their largest lead of the game just a minute later with 9:53 left.
However, Iowa State mounted a comeback and had the lead cut to just six points with 4:10 left on a layup from Niang, who put on an amazing performance to get the Cyclones back in the game. Unfortunately, the deficit didn't get any smaller than that until Abdel Nader hit a fadeaway 3-point jumper from the left wing to make the score 73-69. That was the closest ISU would come to taking the lead until Deonte Burton hit a meaningless 30-foot shot at the buzzer to bring it to the final of 79-76.
The Cyclones beat the Sooners in some key statistics, which makes the result of the game somewhat weird. ISU outrebounded OU by four, shot a better field goal percentage and shot better from long range. However, Iowa State also turned the ball over 18 times, which Oklahoma took advantage of.
After Niang, Matt Thomas was ISU's next leading scorer with 13 points. Burton chipped in 12 off the bench and Nader had 11 of his own to round out the double digit scorers for the Cyclones. Point guard Monte Morris played a poor game overall while dealing with a shoulder injury, putting up five points on a dismal 1-9 shooting night to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists.
Next up for the Cyclones is the NCAA Tournament, for which the seeding and locations will be announced on Selection Sunday. Most projections have Iowa State as a 4-6 seed right now.