Cyclones, hopefully, developing some resolve like the 2004-05 NCAA Tournament squad did

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The Iowa State men’s basketball team played consecutive games against Top 10 ranked schools last week and was highly competitive in both.

“One thing we learned is that we can play with anybody,” Associate Coach T.J. Otzelberger told the news media Monday. “The other thing is – that in order to be a good team – we have to show some resolve and bounce back (when things go wrong).”

The last season in which the Cyclones faced back-to-back opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 was 2004-05. That team lost to No. 2 Kansas (66-71) and at No. 6 Oklahoma State (73-83). It also dropped its next game (54-52 in overtime) to Colorado. In fact, those Cyclones lost their first five Big 12 games.

That team, however, must have learned something along the way. They must have developed some resolve.

Led by Curtis Stinson, Jared Homan and Will Blalock, the team won nine of its final 11 league games and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, that team also lost three of its non-league games (two to in-state opponents) just like the 2011-12 Cyclones.

There isn’t much question that this year’s Cyclone team can play with nearly anybody. Hopefully, the tough losses last week end up being character builders for the remaining games.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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