The “it” factor has returned to the Iowa State men’s basketball program


“It” was primed. And, “it” delivered.

Hilton – the Coliseum – was filled to the rafters and eager with anticipation Saturday. Even the student section was packed far in advance of tip-off.

Hilton – the Magic – returned in a big way as the Cyclones locked up third-place in the Big 12 men’s basketball standings with a comeback win over Baylor.

“The building won us the game,” Royce White said afterwards.

White’s familiarity with Hilton and its magical status, is roughly 40 games as a redshirted observer (last season) and team stalwart (this year).

His coach, Fred Hoiberg, has a lot more history with Hilton Magic through his Cyclone career as a ball boy, star player and program builder. The impact of Hilton was not lost on him either.

“There wasn’t an empty seat in the house tonight,” Hoiberg said. “That was as loud as I’ve heard this building in a long time.”

Hilton Magic was rocking. Many people thought it was louder vs. the Bears than a month ago when Hoiberg’s team defeated #5 Kansas. That may be debatable.

But, the return of Hilton Magic was no longer up for discussion. And, 14,000-plus got to revel it again last weekend.

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