DeAndre Kane

No. 16 Iowa State outlasts No. 19 Oklahoma State in a 3OT thriller

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It took a little bit longer than they expected, but No. 16 Iowa State got the win they needed.

The Cyclones outlasted No. 19 Oklahoma State in a way-too-empty Gallagher-Iba Arena on Monday night, winning 98-97 in a triple-overtime thriller that did well to remind the nation that it is, in fact, basketball season.

DeAndre Kane led five players in double-figures for Iowa State, finishing with 26 points, nine boards and nine assists, while Melvin Ejim and and Dustin Hogue combined to go for 32 points and 26 boards in the win. More impressive? The win came with Georges Niang on the bench with five fouls for the entire overtime, a major blow especially when you consider that Iowa State built their gameplan offensively around him.

The biggest play of the night came at the end of the second overtime. With Iowa State down three, Matt Thomas missed a three pointer, but Kane was able to corral the offensive rebound. Instead of hoisting up a contested triple — which would have been the third terrible shot he had taken in the final minutes — Kane gave the ball up to Naz Long, who buried a three to tie the game:

Long had missed his last nine three pointers on the season.

Iowa State took control at the end of the third overtime, but things got interesting when they turned the ball over with 20 seconds left and a one point lead. But Oklahoma State settled for two fadeaway jumpers, both of which came up short, and that was that.

The enormity of this win for the Cyclones really cannot be overstated.

For starters, the Cyclones actually beat a good team on the road, something that the Cyclones have developed a reputation for being unable to do the past couple of seasons. That’s big for their tournament resume and, quite frankly, for their reputation on a national level. It’s one thing to ride the wave of Hilton Magic. It’s another thing to go on the road in February and beat a team with a first team all-american on it.

This also is a shot in the arm in terms of confidence. Iowa State had lost four of their last five games and three in a row heading into the month of February, but in the last three days, they’ve landed wins over both Big 12 teams from the state of Oklahoma. Not only does get the Cyclones back above .500 — to 5-4 — in league play, it means that they’re now through their schedule’s most brutal stretch. Iowa State had played eight straight games against teams that are ranked now or were ranked when they played them.

Their next six games? TCU, at West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas, at TCU, West Virginia.

Is this when the Cyclones make their run?

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.