Iowa State knocked off 7th ranked Michigan yesterday in Hilton Coliseum, and as a result is ranked 21st in the latest AP poll.
The ranking is obviously exciting for Iowa State fans, especially considering the Cyclones haven’t been this high in the rankings since 2001.
The jump from having no votes in last week’s AP poll to being ranked 21st would imply the AP voters were surprised by the Cyclone victory. Quite frankly, nobody should have been surprised by the win over Michigan.
In the last two seasons, Iowa State has only lost three games inside of Hilton Coliseum. Last year was the overtime “loss” to Kansas. The year before were loses to Missouri and Northern Iowa, both in close games.
Even in Hoiberg’s first season, the Cyclones lost six games at home. All of those games had a difference in score of nine points or less. The Cyclones even kept the game close with then 3rd ranked Kansas, losing 84-79.
The last time the Cyclones lost a game in Hilton by more than 10 points that didn’t go into overtime was an 84-61 loss to Kansas on January 23rd 2010, when Greg McDermott was still head coach.
The Cyclone program has clearly reached a point where they will be a hard team to beat at Hilton. With that being said, there is no reason for Iowa State’s jump from being unranked to being ranked 21st.
Those who know a lot about college basketball, which should include voters in the AP poll, know it’s hard to win in Hilton. Considering those voters gave the Cyclones zero votes in the preseason poll and last week’s AP poll, it would be evident they were surprised by the win over Michigan.
Games at Hilton mean little; a win is a win, but a win over any team no matter how good is certainly a possibility in Ames. The Cyclones may deserve a jump in the rankings, but not from zero votes one week ago to 21st this week.
Despite all the hoopla, Iowa State will have a chance to prove they deserve the ranking Wednesday night at BYU.