Friday night showcase once again benefits the Cyclones

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Members of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee had the opportunity to watch two of the schools they’ll likely be seeding in several months as Iowa State hosted Iowa Friday night.

 No other match-ups between nationally ranked schools were played that evening. The contest was aired nationally on one of ESPN’s networks.

 The stage for the Cyclones and Hawkeyes was similar to the one that Paul Rhoads and his football team had two seasons ago when it hosted No. 2 Oklahoma State on a Friday night on national TV.

 A similar result took place then and Cyclone Nation, once again, celebrated a huge victory all weekend long.

 The in-state hoops battle between ISU and UI cemented the outstanding reputations of both schools. The game was hard fought, well played and offered edge-of-your-seat excitement.

 As Dick Vitale would say, “it was super, scintillating and sensational.”

 When you are building a program like Fred Hoiberg, you embrace the chances you receive to perform on the big stage.

 Earlier this season, a basketball game vs. Michigan had similar hype. Iowa State delivered in that game, too, with Vitale sitting courtside.

 “I honestly have no idea how we won that basketball game,” Hoiberg said late Friday night.

 You don’t need to explain how, Fred.

 Members of the selection committee surely saw it with their own eyes and the record sheets they’ll consult in March will simply show: Iowa State 85, Iowa 82.

 A strong post-season resume is taking shape in Ames.

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