Iowa State prepares for U-Conn in Sweet 16 - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Iowa State prepares for U-Conn in Sweet 16

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Iowa State practices at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Iowa State practices at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Iowa State will make their first Sweet 16 appearance in 14 years on Friday night. The 9th-ranked Cyclones play number-18 Connecticut, trying to keep their title hopes alive. The Cyclones went through their shoot-around at the Madison Square Garden.

This will be a battle of two of the top point guards in the country, Iowa State's DeAndre Kane against U-Conn's Shabazz Napier. Napier became the first player in U-Conn history to lead the team in scoring, rebounds and assists.

The senior helped the Huskies win the 20-11 title as a sophomore and he as the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

"Napier's good man," said ISU guard DeAndre Kane. "All the things he does for his team, he's a great scorer, he's great in transition. He's a great rebounder at his size, all the little things he does."

"One guy can't stop him," said ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg. "He's really, really good. You talk about great clutch players, I don't think there's anybody in the college game right now than Shabazz Napier."

Hoiberg will be coaching against a friend on Friday. U-Conn head coach Kevin Ollie was a teammate of Hoiberg's with the Chicago Bulls, and like Hoiberg also played at his alma mater. Ollie says once the pre-game handshake is over, it's on.

"You don't want Fred to lose but I don't want U-Conn to lose either," said Ollie. "It's always tough coaching against one of your great friends but at the end of the day we're both competitors. We both love our university. Once we get in those lines, you pretty much don't have any friends."

Iowa State and U-Conn play at 6:27 on Friday.

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