Iowa State basketball: ESPN College GameDay review


Missed ESPN College GameDay’s first visit to Iowa State basketball at Hilton Coliseum in Ames? Here’s a full review of both hours, the best signs, and final thoughts.

First hour

For those that don’t know the set up, the basketball edition of College GameDay is split in two hours. The first hour is a roundtable discussion of the four ESPN personalities (Rece Davis, Jay Williams, Seth Greenberg, and Jay Bilas). They go through the state of college basketball by dissecting the week’s biggest stories.

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Kicking off with stories about Kentucky and Duke makes sense from a national perspective, but it had to bore the fans at Johnny’s where the first hour took place.

The best moment was when Georges Niang came in for an interview with the four guys. He was as humble as ever and joked with the group. Basically, the same guy we know if we’ve met him around Ames or see his tweets. Always after a quick joke, such as him being more popular than Fred Hoiberg, he followed it up with a humble response.

After the interview, the four got back into a roundtable discussion on their thoughts of the actual state of college basketball. The piece ran around 10 minutes, but as we counted down to the live show on ESPN, it dragged on.

Second hour

Now for the real show. The crowd was insane for the entire period. Plenty of moments had the four hosts needing to yell in order to hear them. A highlight at the beginning was a VEISHEA sign behind Bilas — “Cheers to the nights we can’t remember.”

Never forget, although we all have.

Hoiberg first appeared in the opening segment with “real” Ames mayor Ann Campbell. He then made an appearance in the middle of the show to talk to the four hosts, and the crowd went absolutely ecstatic.

A couple highlights from the interview include shouting out to the late Johnny Orr and Hoiberg listing off other coaches that he’s worked with in the past that’s helped him with his philosophy he uses with Iowa State. He also gives much respect to Kansas and talks about some close losses. When he brings up the charge call on Niang at Hilton, the crowd expectedly boos.

Behind the scenes, Hoiberg gave a shoutout to the guys that wore the jumpsuit like he did in the infamous commercial.

The show then reverts to more national talk with Greenberg having an interview with Wildcats coach John Calipari. Truly, it’s Kentucky’s world and we’re all just living in it. And Duke’s, as the upcoming game against Louisville was often promoted (admittedly, it was the next game and a top-6 matchup).

The half court shot (presented by State Farm if you didn’t see it) didn’t go through. The contestant struggled to stay behind the line early, but there was a solid attempt at the very end for a bank shot. It didn’t hit.

Finally, the predictions. Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams picked the Cyclones. Greenberg tried pumping up the crowd, but Williams took it a step further by opening his shirt and unveiling a Tyrus McGee jersey.

Notable signs

Final thoughts

It was a tremendous showing from Cyclone fans today. Davis was admittedly impressed going into the first commercial break in the live show and always loves when a school goes full throttle in their first visit.

There were over 6,000 fans that showed up for not a game, but GameDay. That’s incredible, and sets up what should be an incredible atmosphere in just a few hours. Let’s go Cyclones!

Next: Kansas-ISU gameday information