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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

State sports news centers on Cyclones in year 2000

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Clearly, Iowa's sports news in the year 2000 centered on Iowa State.

Iowa State figured in the top four stories of the year and six of the top 10 as determined in a vote by sports writers and broadcasters conducted by The Associated Press.

The top story: The spectacular season for the Iowa State men's basketball team, which was picked for the Big 12's second division but won the regular-season and conference tournament championships, reached the final eight in the NCAA tournament and finished 32-5.

"We had an incredible year," coach Larry Eustachy said. "It was all the players. They're the ones who made it happen."

The season did not begin on a promising note. In the second game, the Cyclones lost at Drake, a team that would finish 11-18. Nine days later, a loss to Cincinnati left Iowa State with a 3-2 record.

Then the Cyclones took off. Led by Marcus Fizer and Jamaal Tinsley, Iowa State won a school-record 13 straight games and 19 of its next 20. Victories at Texas Tech and Baylor in the final week of the season gave Iowa State the Big 12 title outright, and the Cyclones beat Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma to win the conference tournament.

Once in the NCAA tournament, Iowa State kept winning and reached the Midwest Regional final against Michigan State. The Cyclones led 59-52 with less than 6 minutes remaining, but Michigan State rallied for a 75-64 victory and went on to win the national championship.

Read the rest of this article in the 12/26 Pilot Tribune.

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