Rushed Reactions: #5 Iowa St 84, #12 Nevada 73

Posted by Brendan Brody on March 17th, 2017

Iowa State won the most entertaining of the four-game session today in Milwaukee, doing so behind the stellar play of its senior class. Every time Nevada made a run, one of the Cyclones’ four senior starters had an answer.

Iowa State (USA Today Images)

Three Key Takeaways.

  1. This was the highest level and most fun game of the day. It actually wasn’t even close. Between the multiple comeback attempts from Nevada every time the Wolf Pack would get behind by double-figures to the high level plays above the rim, it was the most entertaining game by a landslide. There were multiple tweets that went out from this writer telling people at home to switch over and watch.
  2. Iowa State is going to be a really difficult team to beat. The team that ends up removing Iowa State from the bracket (and this is certainly not meant to rule them out of the National Championship picture) will have to figure out how to bend the will of four extremely mentally tough seniors — Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas and Deonte Burton — who simply do not crumble in the face of pressure. This team has confidence and experience in spades right now, which is a dangerous combination in March.
  3. Nevada lived up to its billing. Nevada’s talented trio of Cam Oliver, Marcus Marshall and Jordan Caroline exhibited their talent and resilience in how they kept coming back. Had the Wolf Pack not missed a number of easy shots in the first half, things might have turned out differently in the end. This was a fun team with several multi-skilled athletes who played at a fast tempo.

Star of the Game. Monte’ Morris didn’t have his best game of the season, but he nearly notched a triple-double tonight on his way to 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. As mentioned at the top, his quartet of Cyclone seniors were there to get a key bucket each and every time Nevada made some kind of run. A seven-point working margin was officially stretched and finished off when the floor general drew a foul shooting a three with 2:00 remaining.


  • “He’s the best point guard in the country, and he’s brought Iowa State back to being relevant. ” – Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm, talking about point guard Monte’ Morris.
  • “You want a team that’s composed when they get hit in the face. – Iowa State forward Naz Mitrou-Long, discussing his team’s multiple denials of Nevada comebacks.
  • “It’s amazing to see the progress he’s made. ” – Prohm, when asked about backup point guard Donovon Jackson.

Sights and Sounds.

  • The most overpowering visual of this game was the sight of the massive turnout of Iowa State fans at the Bradley Center. It is a relatively short distance from Ames to Milwaukee, but no other fan base had the numbers and noise anywhere close to what the Cyclones brought.
  • Nevada star Cam Oliver shared a unique moment with the media assembled at press row at the under-12 timeout. After teammate Jordan Caroline missed what would have been an and-one basket, Oliver looked at some of the press while mumbling and smiling. It was as if he was saying, “we should be winning this game but we keep missing easy shots.”

What’s Next. The Cyclones advance to Saturday’s intriguing showdown with Purdue in the nightcap here in Milwaukee.

Brendan Brody (307 Posts)

Brendan Brody is in his fourth season covering the Big Ten for RTC. Email him at, or follow him on twitter @berndon4.

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