Rushed Reactions: #1 Virginia 84, #4 Iowa State 71

Posted by Bennet Hayes on March 25th, 2016

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Three Key Takeaways.

Malcolm Brogdon and Virginia got out early and stayed a step ahead of Iowa State all night. (Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Malcolm Brogdon and Virginia got out early and stayed a step ahead of Iowa State all night. (Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

  1. Virginia blitzes Iowa State early. The Cavaliers opened on a 12-2 run that they extended to leads of 17-3 (five minutes in) and 26-9 (eight minutes in). Adding to the Cyclones’ early troubles was foul trouble for star Georges Niang, who picked up his second foul with 12:46 to play in the half. Steve Prohm would gamble in re-inserting Niang minutes later, but a tentative Niang didn’t make the Cyclones any better defensively. Getting down early is never recommended, but against a Virginia team that plays at a deliberate tempo and can be suffocating defensively, an early hole is too often a death knell. It certainly played out that way tonight.
  2. Virginia’s passing. The Cavaliers are known as a good-passing team, but their ability to share the ball was particularly excellent this evening. They assisted on a remarkable 81 percent (26 of 32) of their field goals, well above their season average of 55 percent. When Iowa State extended their pressure into the full-court with three minutes to go, Virginia repeatedly passed their way through the press for dunks, as Anthony Gill and Isaiah Wilkins had five combined dunks in a two-minute stretch. London Perrantes led the Cavaliers with nine assists.
  3. Georges Niang. As bad as Iowa State’s first half was, it would have been even worse without heavy contributions from its senior star. Niang shrugged off a pair of quick fouls to score 15 points in the opening half – just one fewer than the rest of his team combined. He opened the second half hot, too, scoring seven points in the first seven minutes. Unfortunately he also picked up two more fouls in that stretch, and headed to the bench with 13:10 to play and Iowa State on a run that had cut the Cavalier lead to eight. He returned with nine minutes to play and his team down 13, after which point Iowa State would never really threaten again. Niang finished with 30 points and eight rebounds in the final game of an outstanding collegiate career.

Star of the Game. Mike Tobey, Virginia. The Cavaliers had a number of key contributors, but Tobey supplied an unexpected lift off the bench that made a huge difference. The senior had 18 points and seven rebounds – including four on the offensive end – and was critical in helping UVA maintain a comfortable lead throughout the second half. Jameel McKay was a virtual non-factor for the Cyclones, as Tobey and the Virginia frontcourt took it to Iowa State on the glass, outrebounding them by eight, 31-23.


  • “Thank you for what you have done for me and for sticking with me all year.'” – Steve Prohm, Iowa State head coach, to Georges Niang and Monte Morris.
  • “I wouldn’t say it’s surprising. Virginia offered him a scholarship so he’s obviously pretty good.'” – Georges Niang, when asked about Mike Tobey’s contributions tonight.
  • “We have to attack it. We can’t just let the game come to us..for us to go out tonight and really execute at the start of the game tonight was awesome for us.” – Anthony Gill, on Virginia’s hot start.
  • “We just play well together. We embrace our pillar of unity.” – Malcolm Brogdon, on his deference to teammates on a night where his shots weren’t falling.

Sights & Sounds. Virginia’s early run neutralized their impact, but the Cyclone faithful showed up at the United Center tonight. Ames is just a 5.5 hour drive from Chicago, so it wasn’t a surprise that the United Center had enough red and gold to look like Hilton Coliseum East for tonight’s opener. It occasionally sounded like Hilton – particularly after a Niang up-and-under cut the lead to ten four minutes into the second half – but the Cavaliers repeatedly stifled the enthusiasm with a clinical two-way performance. UVA had a small contingent of their own in the sections behind its bench, but Cavalier supporters had to be outnumbered four or five to one. A #1 seed probably shouldn’t be playing a virtual road game against a #4 seed in the Sweet Sixteen (selection committee?), but the Cavaliers rendered that point moot tonight.

What’s Next? Virginia will advance to play the winner of the second game at the United Center tonight between #11 Gonzaga and #10 Syracuse. Whoever the victor, the Cavaliers will be a decided favorite to advance to the Final Four. On the other side, Iowa State’s rocky season ends here in the Sweet 16. Steve Prohm will have a critical year awaiting him next winter, as he will attempt to offset the losses of seniors Niang, McKay and Abdel Nader.

BHayes (244 Posts)

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