DES MOINES — Last year in the NCAA tournament, Iowa State knocked out Connecticut before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky.
The Cyclones will face another big name program from the East this season in the NCAAs.
Iowa State earned a No. 10 seed in the West Regional, and will face seventh-seeded Notre Dame in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday.
The Cyclones (22-11), led by third-year coach Fred Hoiberg, have earned back-to-back NCAA tournament bids for the first time in 12 years.
Iowa State solidified its spot in the field by sweeping Oklahoma State and West Virginia to close the regular season. The Cyclones then rallied to beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament before falling to Kansas.
“I’m just excited to be back in the tournament,” said senior Korie Lucious, who played in two Final Fours for Michigan State. “I’m just happy to be playing.”
Notre Dame beat Rutgers and Marquette before losing to Louisville, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, on Friday in New York in the Big East tournament.
The Cyclones and Irish (25-9) have played just once before, with Notre Dame winning 87-77 in South Bend in 1979.
The winner of Friday’s matchup will likely face second-seeded Ohio State — playing just down the road in Columbus — for a spot in the regional semifinals in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
“It’s exciting. It’s a great team. It’s a great program,” Hoiberg said of Notre Dame. “They’re very disciplined. They always shoot the ball well ... it’s going to be a difficult matchup.”
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