No. 2 seed Iowa State runs by sixth-seeded UCLA, 80-56

Cyclones win 10th in row, advance to face Mich. State tomorrow in regional final


Ncaa Tournament

March 24, 2000|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Iowa State men's basketball team may have lacked the history, but not the tougher players.

The undersized, second-seeded Cyclones turned "Showtime" into dead air, high-stepping their way to an 80-56 rout of No. 6 seed UCLA last night in a Midwest Regional semifinal at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Iowa State (32-4) took some monumental steps to national respectability, advancing to its first regional final as well as collecting its first win over the legendary UCLA program.

By extending the nation's longest current win streak to 10 games, the Big 12 champions move on to meet top-seeded Michigan State tomorrow in the regional final.

"The stats and the game film will show that we got our game on the floor tonight," Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy said. "Our goal was not to have them dunk the ball. We wanted to get them out of transition and into their half-court set. UCLA caught us in one of our better games."

Marcus Fizer registered 16 points and nine rebounds. Point guard Jamaal Tinsley finished a whisper away from a triple double with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and Stevie Johnson and Michael Nurse each added 16 for Iowa State.

The Bruins (21-12), who boast an NCAA-record 11 championships, hadn't lost since Feb. 19 and fell to the Ames, Iowa, school for the first time in seven meetings. They had eliminated Iowa State from the NCAA tournament in 1989, '93 and '97.

But this isn't a typical Iowa State team. Starting only one player above 6 feet 4, the Cyclones play with a bigger mean streak.

They slapped away alley-oop passes, allowing just one dunk. They out-banged UCLA for a 43-32 rebounding edge. They dogged the Bruins with in-your-face defense, holding them to seven fast-break points and 33.9 percent shooting -- UCLA's second-worst performance of the season.

"They played physical and took it to us," UCLA center Jerome Moiso said. "They came in wanting to beat UCLA, and we didn't answer."

The Bruins managed only a layup for the last seven minutes of the first half before Earl Watson's leaning three at the buzzer clipped the deficit to 40-28. But they never closed within single digits.

Maybe it was because Iowa State knew what to expect. The Cyclones drew up an accurate scouting report after watching the Bruins rout No. 3 seed Maryland by 35 points only five days ago.

"I don't think Maryland got very physical with them and got caught on their heels," said Tinsley, whose team is 23-2 when he scores in double figures. "We wanted to come out and control the inside. We established that part of our game with tough, hard man-to-man defense."

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