And of course, there isn't a picture available for me to upload that can do it justice. The Cyclones were shaky at times in this one, and they could learn a lot from Houston about aggression and intensity. But still, how often have we seen ISU go down in a close game? Too many times to count over the last few years.
If you look at the Four Factors below, it makes sense why this one was so close:
Looking at the above graph without knowing the outcome, I would have guessed it was a close game that could have gone either way. Having seen the game, it definitley was true to the stats.
When you consider that eFG% is weighted 40%, TOV% is weighted 25%, OR% 20%, and FT Rate at 15%, and then look at where ISU had the edge (eFG% and FT Rate), it was like ISU had the slight edge. Had Houston shot slightly better than they did, we likely would have seen the game go the other way.
And to be honest, there were many chances where it could just very well have. When ISU was down by 2 with 1:00 to go in the 2nd half, I thought it was going to be over.
The question I still have is when Houston tied the game with 1.7 seconds left, ISU had 2 timeouts. Why not call a timeout and see if they could draw up a last second shot type of play? Allowing for the game to just go into OT was pretty dicey, especially because I thought Houston had the momentum going.
I think what did Houston in was having guys getting into foul trouble, and also not being as deep. In the 2nd OT, our guys just looked less tired, and that was the difference.
It's so much fun to watch Gilstrap when things are coming together for him. He's the one guy on the team that can really take a game over. I gotta give him the MVP in this one, as he finishes with 17 points (8 in the 2nd OT), 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Lucca had more points, and Brackins had more rebounds and blocks, but having a guy step up big when the team needed it in crunchtime is so important.
Now the guys turn their attention to Duke. Definitley a tough game, but really one that the team has nothing to lose. I hope they can come out more sharp than they did today, and we'll just see what happens.