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

Cyclones now move on to face Michigan State in the regional final

Midwest

Ncaa Men's 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 a 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 in school history as well as collecting its first win ever 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 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, 1993 and 1997.

Marcus Fizer topped the Cyclones with 16 points and nine rebounds, and Jamaal Tinsley added 14 points and 11 assists.

After slamming down alley-oop passes and raining three-pointers in a 35-point rout of No. 3 seed Maryland last week, UCLA had its high-flying attack grounded.

The Bruins notched only one dunk last night, derailing their entire offense. They made just 21 of 62 shots (33.9 percent), their second-worst performance of the season.

Iowa State maintained control throughout the game, at times in UCLA-fashion with over-the-head passes and rim-rattling slams.

UCLA made its only serious threat with Fizer sitting with three fouls in the middle of the second half. The Bruins crept to within 54-43 with 10: 55 left, but never cut their deficit to single digits in the second half.

The Cyclones quickly answered with seven straight points, increasing the margin to 61-43 when Michael Nurse zipped the ball underneath to Stevie Johnson for a two-handed dunk.

In the first half, Iowa State not only matched UCLA's frantic style, but one-upped the Bruins.

The Cyclones broke open a tight game with a 7-0 run midway through the first half to assume a 27-18 advantage. Kantrail Horton's three-pointer with eight minutes left before intermission capped the spurt.

The Bruins, however, closed to within 27-23 after Jason Kapono assisted Dan Gadzuric and hit a three on the break. But UCLA managed only a layup for the last seven minutes of the half before Earl Watson's leaning three at the buzzer clipped the deficit to 40-28.

Iowa State had most of the momentum due to Tinsley. He had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native also caused problems for Kapono, UCLA's leading scorer, who only made two of his first eight shots.

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