After earning its first-ever trip to the Big Dance, at the NCAA Division I level, the 14th- seeded Eagles of North Carolina Central University face the Big 12 Tournament Champion, the third-seeded Cyclones of Iowa State University for the first time in program history. NCCU is 0-2 against the Big 12 all-time.
NCCU SPORTS NETWORK
The NCCU Sports Network will call the action live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio beginning with the Denny's of Durham Pregame Show beginning at 9:20 p.m. (CT) as play-by-play voice of the NCCU Sports Network and guest color analyst Ronnie Enoch will broadcast on WNCU 90.7 HD2. Due to Westwood One's partnership with the NCAA as the National Broadcast Partner, the NCCU Sports Network will not be able to have a live audio stream going online. Instead, fans can tune in to legendary play-by-play broadcast Brad Sham and former World Champion with Chicago Bulls, WIll Perdue. Fans can still interact with the broadcasters by following @NCCUAthletics, use the hashtag #NCCUMBB, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
SCOUTING REPORT: #3 SEED- IOWA STATE
-The third-seeded and ninth-ranked Cyclones of Iowa State University enter the NCAA winners of four straight contests as the Cyclones swept through the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball tournament with wins over Kansas State (91-85), Kansas (94-83) and Baylor (74-65). The Cyclones earned their 16th NCAA Tournament berth in school history and have compiled a 14-15 record all-time in the Big Dance. During the Big 12 Tournament, ISU shot 51.9 percent from behind-the-arc, connecting on 27-of-52 threes.
-The Cyclones averaged 86.3 points per game in the Big 12 Tournament, while the stellar Eagle defense surrendered only 51.0 points a game on the way to their first-ever MEAC crown.
-Iowa State enters March Madness as one of the top scoring teams in the nation averaging 82.9 points a game, good enough for sixth, while NCCU is seventh in the country in scoring defense allowing 58.5 points per game. ISU is 10th in the nation in three-point field goal attempts, while defending the three is NCCU's strength. The maroon and gray are 11th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense as opponents are shooting 29.5 percent from-the-outside against the Eagles. The Cyclones take great care of the basketball and distribute it equally as well sitting second in the nation in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio at 1.76, No. 1 in the nation in assists per game at 18.5 helpers per contest.
-ISU has a trio of scorers averaging in double figures as 6-6, 220 senior Melvin Ejim tops the squad averaging 18.1 points per contest. The Big 12 Player of the Year also averages 8.5 boards per game. The Big 12 Championship's Most Outstanding Player, 6-4 senior DeAndre Kane is second on the team averaging 17.0 points per game while ripping down 6.7 boards and dishing out 5.8 assists. The final double-figure scorer is 6-7, 240 pound sophomore Georges Niang, as he averaged 16.5 points per contest for the Cyclones. Freshman point guard Monte Morris is No. 1 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 5.4.
-In his fourth season at the helm, Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State's favorite son and native of Ames, has compiled a record of 88-46 (.657) during his time and has recorded at least 23-wins in the last three seasons, including the 2013-14 Big 12 Regular Season Championship. Hoiberg has led the Cylcones to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, putting the program back into the national spotlight. Hoiberg was hired at ISU on April 28, 2010 as the 19th head men's basketball coach in Iowa State University history.
-NCCU has faced only two teams from the Big 12 since making the leap to the Division I level. The Eagles nearly shocked the world in LeVelle Moton's second season at the helm falling in overtime to the Oklahoma Sooners. NCCU is 0-2 vs. Big 12 opponents.
11/15/10- at Oklahoma- 63-71 W (OT)
2/17/09- at Kansas State- 49-95 L
NCCU IN THE POSTSEASON
With NCCU in its infant years of the NCAA Division I level, this is the first time the Eagles have made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. This is also the first NCAA Tournament appearance at any level since March 7, 1997 when the maroon and gray dropped a 78-66 decision to St. Augustine's. The Eagles are 10-5 All-time in postseason play and won the 1989 NCAA Division II National Championship.