You might have to be there in person Friday night to see what could be the most emotional, the most touching moment of the Iowa State-North Carolina Central NCAA Tournament basketball game.

It will happen sometime before the 8:50 p.m. start at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. It will involve the heart — and this time, not Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg’s repaired ticker.

Watch what the other guy, LeVelle Moton, does shortly after starters are announced. Watch his eyes. Watch where he looks.

It won’t be at DeAndre Kane, a Cyclone star about whom he admitted Tuesday to losing considerable amounts of sleep.

Moton will look into the stands, searching for his 5-year-old daughter, Brooke. They’ve got a pre-game ritual, one they’ve performed throughout the Eagles’ 28-5 season that includes an active 20-game winning streak.

He forms a heart with his hand, and she does likewise. He closes one eye, as does she. Then simultaneously, they blow a kiss through the heart toward each other.

“It’s just something we’ve done, and that we’ll continue doing,” Moton said. “It’s our ritual.”

Unless it was last Saturday in the championship of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, when dad looked into the stands and ...

“I looked at her, was ready to do the ritual — and she’s asleep,” Moton said. “She continued to be asleep during timeouts when I glanced up.”

When North Carolina Central victory appeared cinched, he looked up again. (Cue Niagara Falls.)

“Twelve seconds were left, and Brooke’s waving her hands at me,” Moton said. “I see her. She gives me the heart-shaped sign. She closed her eye, blew a kiss through the heart – and from there I lost my composure.”

That’s Moton, an emotional coach who grew up the hard way in Raleigh, N.C.

“I’ve struggled in this world much longer than I have had success,” he said. “On my basketball team, half of my team does not have fathers. I know what that does to you. I know what it feels like to be a kid longing for your daddy to come home, longing for your daddy to play catch, longing for your daddy to have the birds-and-the-bees talk about girls and just life in general.”

Moton is coach — and father figure.

“What you do is you compromise father figures in the environment in which you came,” he went on. “For me, the only men I saw were pimps and drug dealers, and things of that nature.

“What I try to do (at North Carolina Central), is to build men.”

It’s all part of his plan for the fifth-season coach, guiding a team in its third Division I season.

“When I got hired, I had a 67-page manual I gave the (selection) committee and that I gave my athletic director,” Moton said. “The manual says in my fifth year, I will win you guys a MEAC championship, and we’ll go to the NCAA Tournament.

“That was my belief; that was my conviction. That was my selling point to the committee.”