Iowa State men’s basketball has been at the highest level it’s seen since the beginning of this millennium. Fred Hoiberg’s squads continue to set the bar higher each year, but for the first time, there’s no talk of if or how the Cyclones will make the tournament — they’re already in it.
Feb 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) and guard Matt Thomas (21) celebrate during a timeout against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 81-75. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
So, how good is this team, and where does the national media rank them with the other great college basketball teams?
CBS Sports’ college basketball insider, Gary Parrish, spent a second consecutive week backing up the Iowa State Cyclones in his weekly “Poll Attacks” column.
For those not familiar, Parrish criticizes certain voters or ponders why certain teams are ranked ahead of others as he dives in to the school’s body of work.
This week, Parrish takes aim at both Seth Davis, who also works for CBS Sports, and Mike Barber. Both guys participate in the AP voting, and had the Cyclones 22nd and 25th, respectively. In comparison, Parrish has Iowa State all the way at eighth.
The funny thing is, Parrish points out that Barber had the Cyclones at 22nd in the previous week in this week’s column.
"That means Mike had the Cyclones underrated last week, then dropped them three spots on his ballot this week after they beat Texas by nine points and TCU by double-digits. Put another way, this Iowa State team with more top-50 wins than everybody except Kansas, Arizona and Michigan, and just one loss outside of the top 25 of the RPI, dropped three spots on Mike’s ballot after a week in which the Cyclones went 2-0 with a win over a Texas team Mike had ranked 10th last week."
Here is Parrish’s column last week breaking down why he believes the Cyclones should be in the top 10.
I generally don’t nitpick where Iowa State can be in the polls or where they’re projected in bracket predictions throughout the season. Essentially, there’s enough voters that things balance out. But Parrish firmly believes that the Cyclones are a top 10 team. He’s one of the many national college basketball writers that have done so.
After the previous game against TCU, both Andy Katz (who’s brought on Fred Hoiberg multiple times on his podcast) and Miles Davis (who has called multiple Iowa State games) talked about Iowa State potentially heading to the Final Four.
There’s no question Iowa State is getting underrated by many voters. Much of it based by name, because clearly teams like Ohio State and North Carolina should not be ranked ahead of them.
Where do you believe the Iowa State men’s basketball team falls in national recognition?